National News

SSP 1.4 billion not enough -Deng

By Morris Dogga

As South Sudan joins the world to celebrate the International Day for Literacy today, the Minister of General Education and Instruction said the this year’s  budget allocated for the Ministry of Education is not enough to fund some of its projects.

Deng Deng Hoc Yai told Journalist yesterday that the 1.4 billion South Sudanese pounds allocated for the Ministry of General Education is not enough as it has a lot of projects to fund.

“1.4 billion is the amount that is given to us, it is not enough we want 10% because that is the amount indicated in the General Education Act,” he said

Yai said that money is not enough to finance all the sectors under the Ministry of General Education which he said included Early Child Development (ECD), Primary Education; Secondary Education, Adult Education and the management of education which would involve the ministry headquarters and financing the states Ministry of Education as well as the county education department.

According to the General Education Act 2012, section 15 (B) “The Government shall allocate an annual budget to the tune of 10 percent of the total annual budget for General Education to be directed towards development, management and maintenance of education programmes throughout the country.”

But Yai complained that there are a lot of items which are not funded which includes the training of more teachers and improving their salaries because the budget allocated is not enough.

He added that school inspections was one of the item which has not been funded adding that though they have managed to train some school inspectors, there is need to train more school  inspectors so that the schools are supervised.

“So we need financial recourse to be able to pay salaries of the school inspectors and also to be able to buy vehicles, motorbikes for school inspectors to be able to inspect schools at least three times a year,” he said.

Yai revealed that 96 percent of the teachers who are currently teaching in the country have primary and secondary school certificate adding that there is need to train more teachers.

Compared to last year’s budget, this year’s budget allocated for the General Education has increased from 964 million.

Yai said as per the 2008 census, 73 percent of the population at the age of 15 and above in the country is illiterate as compared to the 27 percent literate. But he said there is a prospect that the literacy must have increased if a new census is conducted.

He said in order to increase the literacy level in the country; there is need for collective efforts from the education partners and the government.

Yai said there has been a massive increase in the enrolment of children and youths to schools since 2008 adding the enrolment rate has increased from about 300,000 children in 2006 to 2 million this year.

He said the main barriers to the education sector in the country is long distance to access schools that is why there is need to construct three hundreds schools especially in the rural areas to ensure that schools are near to the people who need to go to these schools.

Yai noted that the other barrier to the education sector is the issue of cultural prejudice; some people don’t think that education is good for them. He said there is need to continue with the campaign through the support of the Girls Education South Sudan (GESS) to change the mindset and the behaviors of people.

Meanwhile the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Country representative Sardar Umar Alam pledge their continued support for the education sector in the country.

Alam pointed out that of all the humanitarian appeals for the country, education is the least funded

He said in order to reduce the literacy rate, there is need to conduct a lot of outreach so that the communities are aware of the importance of education.

Alam also called for more resources to be put from both internal and external actors for education support.

The world literacy day will be celebrated today in Bor. This year’s theme is “Literacy in a digital world.”

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