Early Pregnancies Hinder Girl-Child Education

The Deputy Minister of General Education and Instruction Rebecca Joshua Okwaci. [Gurtong | File]

She said that the challenges marring girl-child education in South Sudan still stand critical and need collective approach, legal and mass awareness intervention.

She said in several communities in the country some parents still force their daughters to be married off in a bid to get wealth rather than investing education adding that unwanted pregnancies also is leading to mass dropout of girls from schools.

Rebecca also pointed out inadequate infrastructure such as school facilities and skilled labour as factors affecting the education of girls in the country.

However, she pointed out that the Ministry finds it hard to lawfully deal with perpetrators behind all sorts of factors hindering girl child education in the country due to lack of laws prohibiting such behaviours.

She said her ministry has worked out a bill which is aimed at improving the general education sector in the country.

“We are so happy that the bill on General Education has been passed by the parliament and it is now awaiting the signature by the President. That gives us the law to really now move openly on those who are disadvantaging our children, our girls and boys and women who are out of school,” said Rebecca.

After the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005 that ended decades of civil war with Sudan, South Sudan has remained one of the world’s leading countries with high illiteracy rate.

The Ministry of Education estimated literacy rates in the infant nation at 27 per cent with women so disproportionately affected.

South Sudan according to the national census conducted in 2008 was estimated with a population of about 10 million with the Ministry of General Education estimates indicating that only 19 per cent of women being literate.

In a move to fight illiteracy, the Ministry last month launched national initiative to fight illiteracy in what government said was a declaration of war against illiteracy.

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