UN: More than half of South Sudanese kids not in school
(Associated Press) - January 12, 2016 - 3:04pm

JUBA — More than half of the children in South Sudan are not in school, the highest proportion in any country, the UN children's agency said yesterday.

Fifty-one percent of children between ages 6 and 15, or 1.8 million children, are not in school in South Sudan, which has seen violence for two years as government forces battle rebels, UNICEF said in a statement yesterday.

Even before the conflict began, 1.4 million children were already missing class. Since the war broke out, over 800 schools have been demolished and more than 400,000 children had to abandon their classrooms, according to UNICEF.

South Sudan's government and the rebels signed a peace agreement in August, although violence persists in some areas.

South Sudan is followed by Niger, where 47 percent of the children are not in school, according to Phuong T. Nguyen, UNICEF's chief of education for South Sudan.

Only one in 10 South Sudanese students who enter school finish primary education amid a shortage of facilities and trained teachers, Nguyen said.

"There is a very, very low budget from the government to the education sector," she said. "It is not holding steady and we see a decline."

A South Sudanese official said enrollment actually went up from under 30 percent after South Sudan became independent in 2011, but that the war and a lack of school buildings and qualified teachers have slowed the growth.

Defense spending is taking a large percentage of the national budget with only 4 percent going to education, said Avelino Adrongo Said, director general of planning and budget in the Ministry of Education.

Worldwide, one in four children in conflict zones are missing out on their education, translating to nearly 24 million children out of more than 109 million living in countries at war, UNICEF said.

A SOUTH SUDANESE AVELINO ADRONGO SAID CHILDREN EDUCATION MINISTRY OF EDUCATION NGUYEN NIGER PHUONG T SOUTH SOUTH SUDAN SOUTH SUDANESE
Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with