American school of south sudan education empowerment early childhood development
Sudan was governed by Britain and Egypt until 1956, when the country achieved independence and became The Republic of Sudan. Independence unified the country artificially, but its people were still very much divided between an Arab north and Christian south.
The young, north-based Government of Sudan promised, but failed, to implement a federal system for the entire country in 1955. This exacerbated tension between the north and south and in 1955, the South Sudan Liberation Movement launched a civil war against the GoS. This war lasted until 1972, when the GoS and SSLM signed the Addis Ababa Agreement establishing autonomy in Southern Sudan. Although the AAA was a step in the right direction, power was still skewed to northern interests.
A second civil war broke out in 1983 when Sudan's president, Jafaar Nimeirj implemented Sharia Law throughout the country and violated the Addis Ababa Agreement. The SSLM was restructured as the Sudan People Liberation Movement and in 1989, they led a coup against the GoS. Throughout the 1990s, the GoS led a series of military attacks on southern civilians. Two and a half million people were killed and four million were displaced.
After nearly 50 years of war, in 2005, SPLM's the Comprehensive Peace Agreement was signed. Much of the violence subsided and thousands of child soldiers were released from enlistment. The CPA also established an interim autonomous period to prepare South Sudan for full independence. On January 9, 2011, a referendum was held and the citizens of Southern Sudan voted for independence from the north. In July 2011, South Sudan became an independent country.
Independence was a great achievement symbolically and the population was booming with optimism. However, the country was extremely underdeveloped and there were still many deep, unresolved problems. Rampant corruption made growth difficult. Resources were not allocated fairly, putting the vast majority of the population in poverty. The decades of war left legacies of violence and tension among ethnic lines, spurring continued hostilities. Power struggles soon arose between South Sudan's Dinka President, Salva Kiir, and Nuer Vice President, Rick Machar.
In July 2013, Kiir dismissed Machar and many others from his cabinet. Six months later, in December 2013, Kiir accused Machar of plotting a coup. Kiir launched an attack in Juba targeting civilians and military under Machar's command. Over the next few months, thousands were killed and displaced. Several peace agreements were signed and quickly violated.
The Reality Today
After decades of violence and corruption, millions of South Sudanese are in poverty without the opportunities or infrastructure to escape it. Only 27% of the population has access to safe drinking water, more than 25% has HIV or AIDs, and about 73% of adults are not employed.
But with 51% of its entire population under the age of 18, education is South Sudan's most critical problem.
South Sudan has the second lowest level of primary school enrollment in the world
and the lowest level of secondary school enrollment.
Only 27% of the population is literate -- ranking as the most illiterate country.
Less than 10% of children complete primary school.
Only 2% attend pre-primary/ nursery school.
Able families send children to neighboring countries for education starting at age 3.
These statistics are worse, on every level, for girls.