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UN Children’s Fund celebrates education in South Sudan

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March 31, 2009 (JUBA) – The beginning of April marks a new school year and the fourth anniversary of Southern Sudan’s ‘Go To School’ initiative, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reminded in a statement today.

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Children in Western Equatoria, Jan. 2009 (photo R. Ruati)

The initiative, launched on April 1, 2006, is led by the Government of Southern Sudan’s Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and aims to raise primary school enrolment levels to over two million.

So far, total enrolment is currently at approximately 1.6 million, up sharply from an estimated 343,000 at the end of the war, said UNICEF.

Minister of Education Job Dhoruai said: “The commitment of the Government of Southern Sudan and our partners offers us the strength to build a comprehensive education system that offers learning to all children who are the future of Southern Sudan.”

Millions of school bags, books, pencils and other essential teaching and learning materials have been distributed by truck, boat and even on foot for communities that are often remote, with limited access.

Speaking ahead of the fourth anniversary commemoration, the Director of Operations for UNICEF’s Southern Sudan Area Programme, Peter Crowley, said “Today, there is no more important priority than to enable the current generation of children to fully develop their talents and skills, so they can help put an end to the poverty and suffering that have afflicted Southern Sudan for so long, and build a better future for all.”

“Investing in the education of the children of Southern Sudan is the single most effective way of ensuring — and sustaining — the peace, stability and development that are promised by the Comprehensive Peace Agreement,” he added in the press statement.

In Southern Sudan, 36 per cent of children in schools are girls. During the war period, very few girls completed any primary education.

According to survey data from 2006, Southern Sudan had 2,922 schools, but only 16 percent had permanent buildings. Often, school is held under large trees. So UNICEF has helped build permanent classrooms and rehabilitate existing ones.

UNICEF has also supported the training of teachers in Southern Sudan, providing assistance to the development and implementation of an English-language based curriculum as well as ongoing intensive English language courses for teachers.

Denmark, Ireland, Japan and the Netherlands donate to promote the ’Go To School’ initiative, as well as UNICEF National Committees in Germany, Italy, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

(ST)

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  • 1 April 2009 06:43, by HONEY

    thanks UNICEF for supporting the future of those adorable kids.

    repondre message

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