Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Education in South Sudan

                Although a relatively new country, South Sudan has quickly implemented policies and acts to promote education, especially for young girls. However, despite President Salva Kiir’s clear message about the importance of education, South Sudan has no shortage of development and humanitarian challenges that it needs to overcome. The country’s internal insecurities and conflicts also disturb education and the decades of civil war have caused many South Sudanese children and adults to not attend school. Consequently, many adults have adopted the mentality that marriage, not education, will bring respect. This mindset, in turn, is contributing to child marriage. As a result, close to half the girls in South Sudan between the ages of fifteen and nineteen are married. These young wives have not continued with their education due to financial troubles, childbearing, chores, and societal norms that dictate that marriage and school conflict.
                It seems that although South Sudan means well and fully intends to encourage the importance of education and empowerment of girls, the government first needs to tackle the subject of child marriage. This means enforcing and enacting laws concerning child marriage, and, perhaps even more importantly, informing the people of South Sudan about the value of education and how it can help improve the life of a family and, in turn, the lives of the South Sudanese people as a whole.

                In this way, South Sudan will not only improve its own quality of living, but the country can serve as an example for other countries with similar problems. South Sudan is definitely making strides in the right direction in terms of human rights and development, but it first needs to deal with issues that have been deeply rooted into the minds of its people. 

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