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S. Sudan launches campaign to reduce high illiteracy rates

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September 7, 2012 (JUBA) - South Sudan, on Friday, officially launched a nationwide campaign as part of the "education for all programme", seeking a 50 percent reduction in adult illiteracy among its population by 2015.

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Pupils of Owinykibul central primary school during its inauguration, July 20, 2012 (ST/Uma Julius)

The initiative was announced during a two-day national literacy conference organized by the country’s education ministry, in collaboration with United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Joseph Ukel Abango, South Sudan’s Minister for General Education and Instruction said the government recently initiated a general education strategic plan, which aims to reduce the high illiteracy rates in the young nation.

“Illiteracy can easily be overcome though political and social campaigns involving all stakeholders in the country as stipulated in South Sudan’s Transitional Constitution,” said Abango at the conference held in Juba, the South Sudan capital.

South Sudan, according to its 2009 Household Survey report, has one of the highest illiteracy rates in the world. Only 27 percent of those aged 15 and above are said to be literate.

An estimated 80 percent of people in South Sudan are unable to read and write, according the, South Sudan National Bureau of Statistics.

Women in South Sudan, are the worst effected with just 19 percent of South Sudanese women aged 15 and above reportedly literate.

“We still have serious challenges to tackle,” the minister acknowledged, adding that the much-hyped education for all programme, should encompass all South Sudanese, including pastoralist communities.

South Sudan has now initiated an education system involving the use of pastoralists’ teachers, who move from one cattle camp to another, educating pastoralists on the importance of having an educated society.

The South Sudan National Assembly recently passed the long-awaited General Education Bill, which among other provisions considers the English language as the acceptable medium of instruction in all schools in the country. Previously, syllabuses in the country were taught in Arabic.

Meanwhile, UNESCO has pledged US$0.5m to enhance literacy campaigns in
South Sudan; a country what suffered decades of civil wars, which massively destroyed its infrastructures, including schools, tertiary and technical institutions.

Salah Khaled, UNESCO’s head of office in South Sudan urged the government to consider education as the country’s most vital priority, since it attained independence last year.

“Literacy should involve all stakeholders in the country, regardless
of status in society,” Khaled said during the conference, while pledging UNESCO’s firm commitment to closely work with the education ministry in the implementation of the general education strategic plan.

He, however, said the two-day conference should be used as a platform to reflect on the human dimensions illiteracy can have on the population in society.

Telar Riing Deng, South Sudan’s presidential advisor on legal affairs described lack of education as an enemy, which keeps a nation in the past.

“Illiteracy is the enemy within. We have to promote literacy that ensures the culture of peace in our societies,” he said, while speaking on behalf of South Sudan President, Salva Kiir.

South Sudan should focus on building a nation of peace and tolerance, while focusing on education systems that provide opportunities for self-actualization of citizens, he said.

(ST)

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  • 8 September 2012 06:43, by Alfredo christiani

    Dear thieves
    Universities are closed down and you’re telling us nonsense on the internet, bunch of thieves what goes around come around. I wish obsess should deal away with some of you guys, before 2015 election, No thanks

    repondre message

    • 8 September 2012 08:13, by Dinkawarrior

      Launching campaign to reduces Corruption is much better than illiteracy reduction. Because our people have been illiterate since then but they know how to respect other people’s properties and they share things together in good faith. They don’t robbed others or killed. Yes, it easy to say something but difficult in action.

      repondre message

    • 9 September 2012 11:42, by Suleiman

      Salva Kiir is talking but implementing things.
      What a shame for a President who say things berbally and not put them in action!!!!!

      repondre message

  • 8 September 2012 07:24, by George Bol

    South Sudan has numerous educators from Phd, Masters, Bachelors, Diplomas, and certificates but greedy , jealousy, and corruption are obstacles to institute education in the South.Ten states are not many but competition base on poverty line will not allow us to invest in education. Yes!

    repondre message

    • 8 September 2012 12:13, by Ruach

      Children are taught in New Sudan Vision which make them useless and not able to speak in English properly.That vision of Mexis Lennist will be revised and thus will be forgotten

      repondre message

    • 8 September 2012 12:14, by Ruach

      Children are taught in New Sudan Vision which make them useless and not able to speak in English properly.That vision of Mexis Lennist will be revised and thus will be forgotten

      repondre message

  • 8 September 2012 12:01, by taban richard

    Shame upon you The so call R.O.S.S.Leaders,i just wish i wash a witch,i swear i w’d have killed you one by one before the 2015.you have taken the advantages of the poor in this country.That money will never reach the beneficiaries.You even feel good if other countries are offering scholarships to your students to go study in their countries.it is an insult.Salva try to copy some thing from Botswan

    repondre message

  • 9 September 2012 19:18, by Guandong

    How to reduce high illitracy while u were dissmissing students from Juba university? are they not part of this initiative campaign? Shame on ur unwise government.to win this campaign remove Adwok nyaba n Juba univ.vice chancellor, bcoz their children are in abroad that is why they dont care whether the quality of schools in ss is whatever or its upto child with no father.

    repondre message

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