Second phase of cash payments for girl education starts

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[Juba, South Sudan, TCT, By Philip Buda] The UK-Aid- funded Girls’ Education South Sudan (GESS) phase two program has kicked off its second round of cash transfers to girls in candidates classes including Primary 8, Senior 4 and primary 5 across the country. GESS, in May this year launched its second phase program with a budget of about 70 million Sterling Pounds which will be implemented in five years from 2019 to 2024. The first program budget was about £ 60 million which ended in 2018.

[Juba, South Sudan, TCT, By Philip Buda] The UK-Aid- funded Girls’ Education South Sudan (GESS) phase two program has kicked off its second round of cash transfers to girls in candidates classes including Primary 8, Senior 4 and primary 5 across the country. GESS, in May this year launched its second phase program with a budget of about 70 million Sterling Pounds which will be implemented in five years from 2019 to 2024. The first program budget was about £ 60 million which ended in 2018.


The national Ministry of General Education and Instruction together with GESS team announced on 6th November 2019 that the second Cash Transfers payment is a follow up payment to the first cash transfers paid in July 2019, according to Kuyok Abol Kuyok, Undersecretary in the Ministry of General Education and Instruction said.

Undersecretary Kuyok said girls in Primary 8 and Senior 4 will receive 2,750 South Sudanese Pounds and those in Primary 5 will receive 2,200 SSP, respectively. The Cooperative Bank South Sudan has been contracted to disburse the payments. At the end of its first phase of the program, GESS reported that it reached more than 295,000 individual girls surpassing its ambitious target of reaching 200,000 girls.

“The GESS cash transfers help to remove the financial pressure of going to school as well as encourage enrollment, regular attendance and retention of girls in school,” GESS Team affirmed.

Akuja de Garang, GESS Team Leader stated, " In accordance with the UK Department for International Development’s ‘leave no one behind’ commitment, we have commenced the disbursements. The cash transfers help some of the most marginalized girls to purchase education-enabling items."

According to the South Sudan 2019 enrollment data from the Schools’ Attendance Monitoring System (SAMS), girls make up 45.44% of the total enrollment in this academic year. However in Secondary School the enrollment drops to 38.7% showing the increased pressure that girls face as they get older. This shows that educational outcomes for girls are significantly poorer compared to those of boys.

Girls face increased social and cultural pressures to drop out of school, to enter employment or get married. These poor educational outcomes have a negative effect on South Sudan’s economy and increase levels of inequality, GESS stated in its press release.

UKaid, GESS and the Ministry of General Education have warned that strict measures are in place to ensure that the money goes into the hands of the validated girls to ensure zero tolerance for the misuse and misappropriation of the program funds. The partners also strongly encouraged parents to accompany their daughters on the day of disbursement to protect against the misuse of the money and ensure security of their daughters.

GESS and the Ministry of General Education and Instruction also asked for the patience of the girls who are expecting to receive the money due to the scale and extensive geographic coverage of the activity as setback may occur.

Rebecca Poni Edward, a Senior 4 Student at Juba Diocesan Model Secondary School, which is a beneficiary of the GESS Program said she appreciates the GESS initiative of helping the girls. She said even though the cash might not be enough, they are previlleged to recieve the little money to help them buy some learning materials and sanitary pads to keep them in class. Poni advised her fellow girls not to misuse the money but rather use it wisely to help them in school.

Another GESS beneficiary Diana Nunu James, also a Senior 4 Student at Juba Diocesan Model Secondary School, said ‘better little than nothing’ referring to the small amount of stipend, but it can at least help other than nothing. Nunu wondered why the GESS did not actually provide them with the necessary scholastic materials and the sanitary pads other than giving them money which she said is not enough to buy for them all that they require to keep them in school.

Nunu further said in some cases, this money often exposes them to problems with male students who feel jealous. She said the boys question why only the girls are receiving the money, prompting them to sometimes beat and rob the girls of their money. The allegation could not be verified according to Akuja de Garang, the GESS Team leader..

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