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South Sudan Launches Inclusive Learning Policy

By Simon Deng

South Sudan’s Ministry of General Education and Instruction on Tuesday launched the National Inclusive Education Policy2021 that aims to allow all children access toquality education.

OmotOkony, Acting Undersecretary in the Ministry for General Education and Instruction said that this policy will help them implement all education programs.

“Now thatwe have launched the inclusive education policy we can now start implementing our programs on inclusive education, inclusive education meansthat every child must be given opportunity to learn, no child can be left out that is why we are very much concerned about inclusivity,” said Okony during the launch in Juba.

Okony disclosed that the policy will include, implementation and monitoring of inclusive education in all centers.

 “We have developed a lot of polices but some of these policies are not implemented due to lack of funds, but we are going to implement this policy as it is, we are going to adopt the curriculum to fit children with disabilities,” he said.

According to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) over 2 million children are out of school due to combination of factors like conflicts and also the COVID-19 pandemic that forced huge number of pregnant girls to drop out of school.

Juliette Murekeyisoni, UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) Deputy Country Representative said that South Sudan has opened doors to refugees and asylum seekers, noting that refugees need to be included in national education.

“Launching this policy will give us a lot of hope that all children will be included no matter whether they are refugees or street children, all children should not be left behind,” said Murekeyisoni.

She revealed thatSouth Sudan is home to 320,000 refugees with more than half of them being children, adding that about 140,000 of these are children in both primary school and secondary school.

“On the issue of inclusionwe need to ensure quality data, refugee law inclusion in national education management this will ensure refugees and all children including children with disabilities are not forgotten,” said Murekeyisoni.

Ester Akumu, Director for Gender in the Education Ministry said that they will conduct awareness raising to ensure that all children are enrolled in schools across the country.

“We need to continue with awareness raising because most of our communities arenot even valuing children with disability, education is not only for the abled children but it is for everybody,” said Akumu.

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