Increasing access to schooling for girls in South Sudan
Reflecting decades of neglect, conflict and lack of resources, educational facilities in South Sudan are amongst the poorest in the world. In turn this leads to very low enrolment rates, especially for girls.
Recognising the scale of the problem and the need for a sustained and wide-ranging programme to stimulate change and encourage more girls and boys to attend school, the Department for International Development and the Ministry of Education set up a dedicated and nationwide programme to increase access to primary and secondary schooling.
WTI has been a key partner in that programme from the beginning – working both in what was Unity State in the north of the country and Western Equatoria. At the beginning of 2017, we also took on responsibility to run the programme in what was Lakes State, in the heart of South Sudan. This means that we are delivering the GESS programme across a huge swathe of South Sudan, from the border with Sudan in the north to the border of Uganda in the south.
We have long stressed an approach that emphasises the right of all South Sudanese children – irrespective of gender, tribe, religion or geography – to enjoy access to good quality education. Getting more children into primary school is the first step to opening up new opportunities for all of South Sudan’s children – and at a time when conflicts continue to destroy lives, sow distrust and reinforce social divisions, education is one of the few ways of sustaining hope in the future.