South Sudan
The Global Partnership for Education, an organization that builds education systems in developing and war-torn countries, is collaborating with USAID to focus on education for girls in South Sudan.

Educational opportunities are extremely limited for girls due to a combination of cultural biases and armed conflict.

“The situation is especially alarming since women and girls in South Sudan are more likely to die during childbirth than complete primary education,” according to the Education National Statistics Booklet 2012 and the South Sudan Statistical Yearbook.

The world’s newest country, South Sudan, is in a time of crisis. Not only are basic services such as education fragmented but children are at risk of forced labor, extreme poverty and are subjected to the violence around them.

A six-year program funded by the British government, Girls’ Education South Sudan (GESS), operates on the belief that educating girls is an important aspect of relieving severe poverty in communities. It began in April 2013 and will continue until September 2018 to raise awareness about the issue, provide financial support and work with policymakers.

With the support of organizations like GESS, Global Partnership seeks to build 25 girl-friendly schools in South Sudan’s neediest regions. Out of 10,000 anticipated students, 3,000 are expected to be girls.

In order to remedy the cultural aspects that serve as a barrier to girls’ education, separate wash facilities will be provided for them and teachers will receive training to foster a gender-sensitive environment. In addition, the national curriculum will be revised and new textbooks provided.

“A focus on education in these countries promotes peacebuilding and conflict mitigation, and can foster economic growth,” explained Global Partnership.

Since joining the Global Partnership in 2012, South Sudan has received a $36.1 million grant for the education program that is implemented by UNICEF South Sudan. Additionally, a $66 million grant was provided by USAID. Establishing education systems is helping to provide a sense of stability and hope for the future for South Sudan.

Emily Ednoff

Sources: Global Partnership for Education, GESS
Photo: Flickr