Coronavirus – South Sudan: Save the Children commends Government’s decision to re-open schools in South Sudan

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The government of South Sudan has decided that “all the higher institutions of learning and schools should be opened,” Minister of information, Michael Makuei, told the press after a cabinet meeting on Friday 9 September 2020.

Rama Hansraj, Save the Children’s Country Director in South Sudan said:

“Save the Children welcomes the decision taken by the government of South Sudan to re-open schools to ease concerns on how COVID-19 has affected children’s rights to survival, protection and learning while at home.

The decision to re-open schools puts the smile on the face of 2.2 Million children whose right to education was impacted by over six months of schools’ closure. However, we urge the government to ensure that these children who are out of school are mobilized to resume their education and to put in place the necessary health guidance to ensure that children, teachers and their parents are protected from potential risks pose by the COVID-19.

The government and other education actors on the ground should fight against sexual violence and child marriage as such are barriers to children’s rights to education in South Sudan.

Attention should also be paid in rebuilding schools as 1 in 3 schools have been damaged, destroyed, occupied or closed and only 3.5% of girls are enrolled in secondary schools.

Whilst we commend the decision of school re-opening, Save the Children advocates for the government of South Sudan to provide all children with access to age appropriate information about COVID-19 in all applicable languages, including indigenous languages, and to track how rumors and misinformation may be harming or impacting specific groups of children. This information should include the primary and secondary impacts using child protection, Mental Health Psychosocial Support (MPHSS) and Gender Based Violence (GBV) risks and available child-friendly services.

Save the Children is committed to send more children back to school after schools reopen”

Save the Children’s education work in South Sudan supports children affected by insecurity and natural disasters by providing child friendly learning spaces, providing teaching materials and recreational kits, and working with communities to ensure children’s education is not disrupted.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Save the Children.

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