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As Southern Sudan looks to nationhood, education is pivotal | Back on Track - 0 views

  • At the end of this week, Southern Sudan will become an independent nation. Citizens of the newest country in the world, the people of Southern Sudan face immense challenges and immediate threats.
  • They also stand before a unique opportunity to build a country that is free of war, respectful of human rights and prosperous. Education will play a pivotal role in the future stability and economic development of Southern Sudan.
  • more than 100,000 Sudanese civilians have been displaced due to recent clashes over the contested border district of Abyei. About half of them are children who are being exposed to hunger, violence and disease. They are often separated from their parents and out of school due to the conflict.
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  • Southern Sudan ranks second to last when it comes to primary school enrolment, with almost 1.3 million children of primary school age out of school.
  • For the girls, the situation is even worse. Only around 8 per cent of women in Southern Sudan are literate, giving it one of the lowest female literacy rates in the world.
  • “When we first began, there were hardly any girls in the classroom, maybe two or three,” she said. “But now, in a classroom of 60, [there] would be 27 to, sometimes, half” of the class composed of girl students.
  • “The teacher-parent associations are getting stronger,” she said. “We really need to create community awareness.”
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