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Stakeholders discuss need to provide children with access to digital learning

Stakeholders discuss need to provide children with access to digital learning
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Stakeholders discuss need to provide children with access to digital learning“We don’t have access to digital devices like smart phones, computers, laboratories, or libraries equipped with modern educational technology for research in Eastern Equatoria or, indeed, across South Sudan. I appeal to the government to provide such amenities in schools to ensure our students get the same opportunities as those in other countries,” said Amama Mariam, guest of honor at a recent commemoration of Day of the African Child.

Held jointly by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan and partners in support of the state Ministries of Gender, Child, and Social Welfare and Education, the event was organized under this year’s global theme, ‘Education for All Children in Africa: The Time is Now,’ which also aligns with the African Union's theme—'Educate an African Fit for the 21st Century: Building Resilient Education Systems for Increased Access to Inclusive, Lifelong, Quality, and Relevant Learning in Africa.’

The aim: To provide students, teachers, parents, and communities at large with the platform to articulate their needs and wishes when it comes to quality education for all.


At the ceremony, peace, and protection partners in Eastern Equatoria stressed that quality and inclusive education will empower African children to underwrite Africa's sustainable development.

“By commemorating this Day, we draw attention to the need for education that will empower African children to thrive and contribute to sustainable development,” said Guy Griffin, the Head of the UNMISS Field Office in Eastern Equatoria.

 “Much progress has been made in delivering quality education to children across the continent. However, there is still a long way to go until we can say with confidence that all children in Africa, in South Sudan and in Eastern Equatoria state are being given the best start in life,” he added. 

With two civil wars, ongoing conflict, and harmful cultural practices such as early or forced marriages, South Sudanese children have often had to deal with massive disruptions to their education. These challenges and more were brought to life by students through poetry and song recitals, speeches, and dramas, which they performed in front of a diverse audience, including their parents.

Collective efforts to address these roadblocks is the only way forward, according to Eunice Nakiru, a women’s representative.

“At the moment, we have relative peace in our country after much upheaval and this is of great benefit to our children. As parents we are responsible for our children’s welfare and their future, and they deserve the best we can provide. So, I hope they are supported with the tools and technology that will give them the same competitive advantages as children from more developed countries,” she said.

Child protection was also a topic of discussion, and plans are under way by the Ministry of Education and relevant institutions to enact laws that will protect child rights.

“We are presenting our policy statements because it matters a lot for us to pass laws that will safeguard every child,” revealed Lopeyok Samy Aperengole, state minister of Education.

The Day of the African Child, marked annually on 16 June, provides an opportunity to reflect on the progress made for children and to highlight the challenges that persist towards ensuring access to quality education for all in Africa.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

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Stakeholders discuss need to provide children with access to digital learning