Kiir pledges revamp of education to surmount sector challenges

Kiir pledges revamp of education to surmount sector challenges

President Salva Kiir pledged overwhelming support for the education sector, which is currently undergoing various financial challenges.

The head of state received a comprehensive report from Vice President for Services Cluster, Hussein Abdelbagi, and the Minister of General Education and Instructions, Awut Deng, which highlighted the pressing challenges facing South Sudan’s education sector.

According to the Presidential Press Unit, the three leaders discussed how to fix challenges such as delays in paying salaries of teachers, handling various operational costs, and finetuning the nagging examination processes.

It noted that Awut reported significant strides in enhancing teacher compensation, noting that increasing the perks would attract more teachers into the profession and increase the quality of education.

“We believe that by improving teachers’ salaries, we are not only valuing their crucial role but also encouraging more qualified individuals to join and stay in the profession,” said Awut.

She revealed that the marking of secondary school examination papers has been completed and results are expected to be released soon. This progress marks a crucial step in maintaining the integrity and timeliness of the nation’s educational assessments.

Kiir emphasised his administration’s unwavering commitment to bolstering the education sector across the country.

“Education is the cornerstone of our nation’s future. We are dedicated to creating a supportive learning environment for all students,” stated Kiir, as quoted by the Presidential Press Unit.

He said the government would continue to invest in education to ensure equitable access to quality learning.

South Sudan’s education sector has faced several setbacks despite the efforts by the government to register more learners by introducing free education.

For instance, a teacher from Western Equatoria State who preferred anonymity for fear of victimization told The City Review in an interview that inconsistent salary payments and inadequate teaching materials mentioning are some of their main challenges.

“Our increased salaries are a step in the right direction but without regular payments and sufficient resources, our ability to teach effectively is still compromised,” he explained.

Moreover, operational costs for schools continue to strain the education budget, affecting the overall quality of education. Schools in remote areas face additional difficulties, including lack of infrastructure and educational resources, which further widen the educational disparity between urban and rural regions.

The government’s focus on resolving these issues is crucial, as the educational sector remains a key pillar for South Sudan’s development. Stakeholders are hopeful that the current administration’s initiatives will lead to tangible improvements.

But they also call for sustained efforts to address the systemic problems affecting the education system.

In April 2024, the Deputy Minister of General Education and Instructions, Martin Tako Moyi, said the government was looking for resources to mark the exams and provide results within the right time.

“Now that we have received part of the funding for marking the examinations, we are grateful to His Excellency the President of the Republic, the Vice President for Service Cluster, and the Honorable Minister of Finance for trying their level best to see to it that the examination papers are marked,” he said.

 “The marking of secondary school certificate has been delayed and the reason for the delay is obvious that we did not receive the necessary funding for marking the examination,” he added.