The Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan has clearly spelt out that basic education must be free and compulsory to all children in this country. It is therefore the mandate of the General Education Sector to ensure translation of this enactment into actual deeds. The Ministry is also mandated to develop appropriate policies and strategies for guaranteeing this noble task and to ensure that other related roles such as the oversight and equity issues are dealt with properly. These tasks are to be delivered by the Ministry’s directorates and secretariats, centers and a teacher development and management service and their respective departments through the stewardship of the senior management of the Ministry. Therefore, the mandate of the Education Sector is to respond to the Transitional Constitution (2011) Article 33 of the Republic of South Sudan and Vision 2040 which among others states that by 2040 South Sudan should be an educated and well informed nation and in so doing the Sector is committed to put the best strategies in place. These strategies are tailored towards achieving the Vision through addressing issues related to enrolment, efficiency and improving the financial management and accountability of the Sector.
To achieve South Sudan Vision 2040 of building an educated and informed nation, MOGEI is mandated to develop policies and regulatory framework which are critical to enable education ministries and institutions to carry out their functions. This will require a number of actions:
- Develop and implement human resource management, financial and asset accountability systems to guide actions of education managers at all levels.
- Develop methods of communicating with the public on the subject on education plans, policies and progress in the sector towards national goals
- Develop a sector coordination mechanism for horizontal and vertical cooperation between ministries and partners.
- Develop sector-wide monitoring and evaluation strategy that ensures evidence-based decision-making, planning, and programming in the sector.
Purpose and Principles
According to the General Education Act (2012), the general education system in the Republic of South Sudan shall be directed towards meeting the following goals:
- Eradicate illiteracy, improve employability of young people and adults and promote lifelong learning for all citizens;
- Provide equitable access to learning opportunities for all citizens to redress the past inequalities in education provision;
- Achieve equity and promote gender equality and the advancement of the status of women;
- Contribute to all personal development of each learner and to the moral, social, cultural, political and economic development of the nation;
- Promote national unity and cohesion;
- Enhance the quality of education and encourage a culture of innovation and continuous school improvement and effectiveness; and
- Develop and promote a general scientific approach in education.
The Ministry of General Education and Instruction (MoGEI) is mandated to translate the enactment of the 2012 Act into reality as well as developing appropriate policies, strategies, and provide oversight and ensure equity issues are taken into account. The education system in the Republic of South Sudan shall be guided by the following principles:
- Primary education shall be free and accessible to all citizens in South Sudan without discrimination on the basis of sex, race, and ethnicity, health status including HIV/AIDS, gender or disability;
- Education shall foster the development of South Sudan through integration, peace, self-reliance, patriotism, respect and tolerance for other cultures, traditions, religious opinions and beliefs;
- Education shall promote gender equity throughout the primary, secondary levels and other institutions of learning;
- Education shall inculcate in the individual awareness and respect for life, human dignity in general and human rights in particular, especially child rights;
- Education shall promote the reduction of illiteracy;
- English shall be the language of instructions in schools;
- All indigenous languages of South Sudan are national languages and shall be respected, developed and promoted;
- The government shall promote the development of sign language and Braille system for the benefit of people with special needs;
- Religious education in schools shall be in accordance with the curriculum prescribed by the Ministry of General Education;
- There shall be freedom of religious observance at schools;
- Education shall promote healthy living, community health awareness and environmental awareness; and
- A globally accepted standard of education to promote skills development shall be established;
The Republic of South Sudan’s education system aims to transform each learner to become a good citizen, who is patriotic and proud of his or her rich culture and heritage; active participants in society for the good of themselves and others; committed to unity, democracy, human rights, gender equity, peace and reconciliation and ready to take their place as global citizens, proud of South Sudan’s role and position in the world. In other words, a good citizen is a “conscientised” human being. A “conscientised” citizen is a person who has “learnt to perceive social, political and economic contradictions and to take action against the oppressive elements of reality” In addition, the education system aims to produce a successful life-long learner, who is literate, numerate and keen to learn; is able to learn independently and with others; is proficient in the key competencies and is committed to life-long learning. Moreover, the system aims to produce a creative, innovative, confident and productive individual, who is enterprising and a creative problem-solver; willing to exert the effort that is necessary to success; able to relate well to others, and understand others’ concerns and needs; and diligent, resilient and persistent in their attitude to work. Lastly, the education system aims to produce an environmentally-responsible member of the South Sudanese society as well as a global citizen, who is committed to sustainable forms of development; aware of the fragility of the environment, and the importance of environmental sustainability to life and prosperity; and appreciative of the need for everyone to work together to preserve the environment for the common good and for future generations.