from RAJI BASHIR in Khartoum, Sudan
KHARTOUM – SOME 2,2 million children in South Sudan do not have access to quality education as a result of government not prioritising their schooling.
While the internationally agreed worldwide standard for education allocations is 20 percent of the national budget, South Sudan only spends 5,6 percent for 2019-2020, according to the national budget.
This is the lowest public education spending in East Africa.
Poverty, discrimination due to gender, disability, ethnic origin or language of instruction, physical distance from schools and poor infrastructure are among other obstacles that continue to prevent the poorest children from accessing quality education.
Dr Mohamed Ag Ayoya, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) representative in South Sudan, said education must be a top priority for the government and sufficient allocations must be made to ensure every child in the country could go to school and learn.
“By investing in the education of its children, South Sudan is investing in the future and development of the whole country,” the envoy stated.
The call for more public spending on education in South Sudan comes as UNICEF is launching a global report on addressing the learning crisis in poor countries.
Nearly one in three adolescent girls from the poorest households around the world have never been to school, according to the report.
South Sudan, one of the poorest, is also the world’s newest nation after securing independence from Sudan in 2011.
It spilled into a civil war two years later.
– CAJ News