By UN OCHA
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Education Cluster Assessment South Sudan, November 2017
This assessment is a consolidated effort of the Ministry of General Education and Instruction (MoGEI), the Education Cluster Unit and Cluster partners towards determining the impact of the most recent conflict, economic crisis, food insecurity and cholera epidemic on children’s education in South Sudan.
The assessment design was based on an analogous exercise conducted by the Education Cluster in 2016. Tools were reviewed with the support of lessons learned from last year’s assessment, then updated and endorsed with inputs by the MoGEI and the Education Cluster Assessment Technical Working Group.
The Education Cluster assessment is based on two corresponding/inter-linked components: the countylevel assessment provides summary education indicators for all counties in South Sudan, while the schoollevel assessment provides in-depth education indicators on the 400 primary schools randomly selected and assessed in 2016. Data collection took place in October-November 2017.
1. School functionality
• According to County Education Directors 59 per cent of schools (as compared to EMIS 2013/20151 ) were open at the time of assessment: this is a 9 per cent increase compared to 2016.
Insecurity in or around schools is the main reason for school closures.
• More than 50 per cent of (functioning) schools started later than the official first day of school and more than 50 per cent closed temporarily in 2017. Only a quarter of schools started on time and were not interrupted during the school year. Due to the late start and interruption to education, schools in South Sudan lost an average of 30 days of education.
• A third of the functional schools reported having been affected by attacks on education since the start of 2017. The most commonly reported incident was theft and looting by armed forces/groups (26 per cent of functional schools).
2. School characteristics
• In addition to the support provided by the Government and local communities, nine in ten functional schools were supported by external partners in 2017 (GESS, IMPACT, NGOs, UNHCR, UNICEF and/or WFP). More than half of these schools reported having received financial incentives for teachers (55 per cent), teaching and learning materials (51 per cent) and cash grants for pupils (50 per cent).
• Almost all schools reported having a School Management Committee (SMC) or Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and having been visited by education authorities in 2017.
3. Enrollment, attendance and dropping out
• County Education Directors and head teachers both reported an increase in enrolment of more than 10 per cent compared to 2016.
• Assessment teams reported that 69 per cent of enrolled children were present on the day of the assessment, 23 per cent were absent and 8 per cent had dropped out.
• Reasons for dropping out and non-attendance are very similar and dominated by lack of food.
For girls, marriage, pregnancy and domestic duties are also often mentioned as reasons for absence and dropping out. 46 per cent of head teachers reported that no children had access to food (either through school feeding or other sources) during the school day.
• A quarter of teachers present at the start of the school year were absent on the day of the assessment, mainly as a result of no or delayed payment of salaries. On average, government and non-government teachers reported having received four months of salaries/incentives at the time of assessment, whereas they should have received ten months of salaries/incentives since the beginning of the year.
• Head teachers reported that only half of the teachers had access to the full set of textbooks they required for teaching.
5. Priorities for intervention
• Head teachers prioritized school feeding as the priority support need for their schools, followed by teaching and learning materials, rehabilitation of infrastructure and teacher salaries.