Efforts To Improve Literacy Level In South Sudan Underway

UNESCO in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Gender and Social Welfare in Imatong State last week organized a 5-day literacy training workshop with an objective to assess the level of literacy in the region and the country at large.
TORIT, 30 May 2016 [Gurtong] – Imatong Education, Gender and Social Welfare Minister, Jacob Atari stressed that Education is key to fighting illiteracy, insecurity, corruption, tribalism, among other things, in the State.

He also emphasized that to scale up literacy in South Sudan requires collaboration and collective contributions and commitment from individuals especially stakeholders.

The UNESCO hopes that communities, the government of South Sudan, development partners and the private sector will join hands in promoting literacy for peace, social and economic improvement, and nation building.

The UNSECO's Adult Education Director, Saluwen Yoasa who spoke during the training, said that in order to realize the improvement of literacy level, his organisation seeks to incorporate sound practices in literacy such as effective period management, building learners’ oral language skills, engaging learners in independent and original writing in order to develop their reading skills.

He added that the on-going efforts seeks to provide learners with structured, meaningful opportunities to read independently either for a specific purpose or for pleasure through model and explaining strategies for learners to apply when reading and writing.

Yoasa disclosed that participants for the training were drawn from Imatong, Namorunyang and Aweil State.

South Sudan literacy rate stands at 27 per cent according to a statement released in 2013 by the national Ministry of Education in collaboration with UNESCO, making the new nation one of the least literate in the world.

According to the 2008 national house hold census survey South Sudan stands at 8 million people though then semi-autonomous Southern Sudan government disputed the figure alleging it could be more.

In 2013, the former UN Chief Coordinator of the Humanitarian Affairs in South Sudan’s Toby Lanzer, however, estimated the figure would stand at 12 million.

Further statistics estimate that 2.2 million people aged between 15 and 40 are illiterate and that only 1 in 10 women are able to read and write in the country – a challenge that requires nation mobilization.

Women are more disadvantaged when it comes to accessing literacy learning opportunities in the country according to education partners.

The national ministry earlier stated that illiteracy is one of the top national challenges and thus requires political commitment, national mobilization and coordinated action toward attaining the literacy development goals.

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