Awut Deng Acuil, the Minister of General Education and Instruction.

Government, partners launch consultations ahead of global education summit 

South Sudan’s Ministry of General Education and Instruction and the United Nations Development System on Thursday launched consultations in preparation for the UN-Secretary General Transforming Education Summit. 

The Transforming Education Summit provides an opportunity to mobilize greater political ambition, commitment, and action to reverse the slide on the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4, reimagine education, and accelerate progress towards targets under Decade of Action and the 2030 Agenda.

Awut Deng Acuil, the Minister of General Education and Instruction, said during the launch in Juba that South Sudan has made significant progress in education but is still facing huge challenges holding it back from achieving SDG 4 targets.

The consultations will help develop a shared vision, commitment, and alignment of action across stakeholders with a focus on innovative solutions, policy, planning, and budgetary changes needed to transform education for the people of South Sudan.

The education summit aims at mobilizing action, ambition, solidarity, and solutions with a view to transforming education between now and 2030.

 “The right to education is something mentioned in the constitution of South Sudan 2011, and free education is not free because many children are denied education, we will not allow those who violate the constitution and the General Education Act 2012 to go unpunished,” Acuil said.

 The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) estimates 2.8 million children to be out of school due to combination of conflicts and flooding.

“We cannot talk about quality education without qualified teachers, it’s our focus that we help our teachers to deliver and we know many of us who are in this room were taught by quality teachers that is why we are able to stand in front of everybody,” Acuil said.

She called for increasing budgetary allocation to the education sector to at least above 20 percent if the country is to achieve SDG 4. 

Agok Makur, the Deputy Minister of Finance and Planning, pledged to increase budget for the Ministry of General Education and Instruction.

He revealed that developed countries like Japan pay their teachers well, adding that the same should be applied to South Sudanese teachers to prevent them from leaving the profession for greener pastures.

Sara Beysolow Nyanti, Resident Coordinator of the United Nation Development System, said that education is a fundamental right for every child regardless of who or where they are.

“We must make sure that it’s our mission to ensure that every South Sudanese child has access to quality education,” Nyanti said.

“The upcoming transforming education summit provides us an opportunity to reaffirm our commitment and take action to put South Sudan on the right path to achieve quality education for all children,” she added

Kuyok Abol Kuyok, Undersecretary in the Ministry of General Education and Instruction, said that main focus of these consultations be mainly on young people.

“South Sudan is having over 73.7 percent of its population under the age of 30 year. It is imperative that the perspective of this significant section of society are captured in this consultations,” Kuyok said.

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