South Sudan's Warrap State education ministry on Tuesday launched the back to learning campaign under the theme, 'Education is the master key of all aspects of life in the world.'
The campaign supported by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and other partners aims to create awareness of the importance of education and promote school enrolment.
The state education minister, Kuot Deng Kuot, speaking during the launch, said the ministry hopes to enroll as many children as possible in schools and encourage those who dropped out to resume classes.
"If agriculture is the backbone of the nation then education is the spinal cord and life of any country and as such, we need to support the ministry of education as government institutions, partners, and community because the ministry of education is tasked and mandated by the constitution of 2011, Child Act of 2008 which obligated us to provide education for all," he said.
Minister Deng said many children have not enrolled in school due to the floods, cultural practices, and communal violence.
"Many children are not accessing education in all the counties because of many barriers ranging from communal conflict, inadequate budget to pay teachers, insufficient qualify teachers, inadequate learning spaces, few children-friendly schools, and gender stereotyping of our communities," he stated.
Deng pointed out that according to a recent national education survey 600,000 children of ages 3 to 18 dropped out of school.
Latifa Dusuman, the UNICEF representative, urges the government to implement laws to allow girls access to education and reiterated UNICEF's support for education in the state.
"Some of these girls are forced to marry when they are not interested. So, we need other sectors not only education to denounce the early and forced marriages and advocate for girl child education," she said.
She added, ''As UNICEF we still look for funding from donors to improve education through community-driven programs as we run some programs through radio talk shows."
Meanwhile, Deborah Oduel Okech, Warrap state acting governor, thanked the education ministry and its partners for the launch which she hopes will have a great impact on the community.
Source: Radio Tamazuj