President Kiir launches ‘Back to Learning’ programme in Juba

Some of the children who attended the launch of the 'Back to Lraning' programme by President Salva Kiir.
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President Salva Kiir has launched the ‘Back to Learning’ campaign in Juba. The launch is a $42 million joint initiative between the ministry of Education, Science and Technology, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and other partners.

The initiative aims at giving more than 400,000 children whose schooling was interrupted by ongoing conflict a chance to return to their studies over the next year.

The launch of the initiative in South Sudan was also attended by the minister for Education Dr. John Gai Yoh, deputy governor Central Equitoria state Manase Lomole Waya, UNICEF Country Director Jonathan Veitch, UNMISS Chief Ellen Margaret Loej, heads of diplomatic missions and other development partners in the country.

Addressing hundreds of people who attended the launch at Dr. John Garang Mausoleum, President Kiir said the country fought for 37years in order to give children a bright future.

“Now that we are independent, focus on your education and it is your duty to learn and build this land of abundance,” he told pupils and students present. “Wake up the eagerness to learn and be courageous and always ask questions as well remembering that answers originated from questions.”

President Salva Kiir emphasized the importance of studying to the learners, saying that books are the source of knowledge and that they should read in order to expand their understanding.

He addressed the issue of girl-child education as being less noted important by our society but added that education is not for boys only.

“Education must be provided for all (boys and girls), so we must give them equal opportunity,” said the president.

The minister for Education Dr. Gai told the gathering that his ministry will work with partners to implement the programme, which will reach out-of-school children in all 10 states, including areas currently engulfed in conflict.

“This initiative is a national call and for those who listened to the national anthem sang by the children, I hope…this anthem will be sung by children for years,” said Gai. “This is an emotional moment because the future of this country is their future.”

Central Equatoria state deputy governor Mr. Lomole called on leaders at all levels to take education seriously and own the learning process if the nation is to succeed.

Mr. Lomole appealed to the president and the development partners for construction of more learning spaces, particularly in Juba and Yei, where citizens from the displaced states have sent their children to school.

“I am deeply concerned that the education of this generation of children has been affected by the conflict,” said UNMISS Representative Ellen Margaret Loej. “I bring to your attention the regretful fact that a third of schools in conflict states are closed and this is unacceptable.”

The UNICEF representative Jonathan Veitch said the initiative will invest $100 in every child’s learning.

“It is a small cost for the hope and opportunity it brings,” said Veitch.

President Salva Kiir has launched the ‘Back to Learning’ campaign in Juba. The launch is a $42 million joint initiative between the ministry of Education, Science and Technology, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and other partners.

The initiative aims at giving more than 400,000 children whose schooling was interrupted by ongoing conflict a chance to return to their studies over the next year.

The launch of the initiative in South Sudan was also attended by the minister for Education Dr. John Gai Yoh, deputy governor Central Equitoria state Manase Lomole Waya, UNICEF Country Director Jonathan Veitch, UNMISS Chief Ellen Margaret Loej, heads of diplomatic missions and other development partners in the country.

Addressing hundreds of people who attended the launch at Dr. John Garang Mausoleum, President Kiir said the country fought for 37years in order to give children a bright future.

“Now that we are independent, focus on your education and it is your duty to learn and build this land of abundance,” he told pupils and students present. “Wake up the eagerness to learn and be courageous and always ask questions as well remembering that answers originated from questions.”

President Salva Kiir emphasized the importance of studying to the learners, saying that books are the source of knowledge and that they should read in order to expand their understanding.

He addressed the issue of girl-child education as being less noted important by our society but added that education is not for boys only.

“Education must be provided for all (boys and girls), so we must give them equal opportunity,” said the president.

The minister for Education Dr. Gai told the gathering that his ministry will work with partners to implement the programme, which will reach out-of-school children in all 10 states, including areas currently engulfed in conflict.

“This initiative is a national call and for those who listened to the national anthem sang by the children, I hope…this anthem will be sung by children for years,” said Gai. “This is an emotional moment because the future of this country is their future.”

Central Equatoria state deputy governor Mr. Lomole called on leaders at all levels to take education seriously and own the learning process if the nation is to succeed.

Mr. Lomole appealed to the president and the development partners for construction of more learning spaces, particularly in Juba and Yei, where citizens from the displaced states have sent their children to school.

“I am deeply concerned that the education of this generation of children has been affected by the conflict,” said UNMISS Representative Ellen Margaret Loej. “I bring to your attention the regretful fact that a third of schools in conflict states are closed and this is unacceptable.”

The UNICEF representative Jonathan Veitch said the initiative will invest $100 in every child’s learning.

“It is a small cost for the hope and opportunity it brings,” said Veitch.

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