UNESCO urges Gov’t to invest more in education

Yodit Tesfaghebiel, Education specialist at UNESCO speaking during the launching of South Sudan education sector analysis and education sector plan development

By Mary Poni

The United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has urged the government of South Sudan to focus and invest more in education to transit the country’s economy from being oil dependent to knowledge-based economy.

This came during the launch of the South Sudan education sector analysis and education sector plan development yesterday in Juba.

As the current general education strategic plan 2017-2022 comes to an end, UNESCO said it is critical for the country to conduct Education sector analysis ESA and develop the next education strategic plan timely.

Yodit Tesfaghebiel, education specialist with UNESCO said, the education strategic plan is a national roadmap for the implementation of the national general education policy 2017-2027 and the general act 2012.

According to her the ESP is also an instrument in operationalizing the country’s goal in education with every South Sudanese citizen to exercise right to education as stipulated in the constitution, 2011 (as Amended). Which is to build an educated and informed nation to help the country to make the transition from an oil dependent economy to a knowledge based economy and achieve prosperity for all.

“We know that most African countries are transiting into a knowledge-based economy which makes it very critical for the country to make huge investment in education as we transition,”Yodit said.

She added that, it is very opportune time to assess the progress of the implementation of the current education sector plan to identity the unfinished business as well as conduct an education sector analysis with the changing socio-economic and political environment in the country, regionally and globally.

“We focus more on the unfinished business or the unachieved targets but at the same time there are areas where we can capture lesson, there could be some Innovations that we have really implemented as a Country and we try to accelerate to move towards achieving the sustainable development goals,” She stated.

She further hinted that it is very imperative to conduct a thorough situational analysis through the ESA because South Sudan like the other country in the world that has faced unprecedented situation of the Covid-19 which has really distracted learning and has created a very huge learning loss among the children of this generation.

“It is very important to have a thorough analysis and beyond that, all the involving situations in the country be it politically, economically or socially are very important” she emphasized.

The UNESCO educationist said although the Country has already recorded a lot of progress in the last few years, it is very important to re-energize to recommit so that they reimage the education because business as usual will not help them to achieve our target.

“It is important to reimage and accelerate the effort, since there are citizens who are with the right attitude, knowledge, skills such that they can be resilient and adapt them as they get prepared for the answering table” Adding that, “we know that we are living in a generation where we don’t know its future.” Yodit underscored.

According to her, the journey that all countries including South Sudan have started in transforming education is a milestone.

“Recognizing that education as a foundation for peace, tolerance, human rights and sustainable development, the UN Secretary-General has decided to convene a transforming education summit in a few weeks,” she revealed.

She added that the summit will basically aim at mobilizing action, ambition, solidarity and solution with a view to transforming education between now and 2030.

The summit is being convened in the context of dramatic and deeply interconnected challenges to ensuring quality education and lifelong learning for all.

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