Acknowledgments This report was written with Kevin Watkins of the Centre for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution. Our research was greatly assisted by many individuals and organisations. Several ministers from the Government of the Republic of South Sudan were extremely generous with their time, providing advice and comments on early drafts. Special thanks are due to Joseph Ukel Abongo (Minister for General Education and Instruction), Peter Adwok Nywabi (Minister for Higher Education) and Kosti Manibe Ngai (Minister for Finance and Economic Planning).
Senior officials and consultants from a number of ministries provided comments and insights including Esther Akumu (Director for Development Partner Coordination, Ministry of General Education and Instruction), Stephanie Allan (Donor Coordinator, Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning), Deng Deng Yai (Undersecretary for General Education and Instruction), Catherine Dom (Technical Adviser, Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning), and Moses Mabior, (Director for Aid Coordination, Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning).
Education in South Sudan: investing in a better future David Masua (Education Programme Manager, Windle Trust), Sue Nicholson (Education Technical Adviser, Save the Children in South Sudan), and Habibur Rahman (Education Programme Manager, BRAC South Sudan). We also benefited from discussions with Jubabased staff from a number of donor agencies, including Hilde Johnson (Special Representative to the Secretary General on South Sudan), Yasmin Haque (South Sudan Country Representative, UNICEF), William Osafo (Education Team Leader, USAID South Sudan Mission), and Fazle Rabbani (Education Adviser), DFID.
Initial findings from the report were presented to a group of non-governmental organisations at a meeting held in London, on 20 March 2012. The subsequent discussions and comments informed the redrafting process. We wish to thank the following organisations for their participation: Action Aid, the Anglican Church, BRAC, the British Council, Camfed, Care International, The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, Christian Aid, Comic Relief, the Global Campaign for Education, the Open University, Oxfam, Save the Children and VSO.
Michael Holman, author and former Africa Editor of the Financial Times, kindly commented on an early draft. While all of the individuals and organisations mentioned above have informed this report, the views expressed are those of the authors alone. Staff working with non-governmental organisations in South Sudan provided invaluable advice based on their programme experience. We are indebted to Caroline De Anna (Education Programme Coordinator, Episcopal Church of Sudan), Reverend Emmanuel (Education Manager, Episcopal Church of Sudan), Emily Lugano (Education Adviser, Save the Children in South Sudan), 6 Foreword:
South Sudan – time to act parents everywhere around the world, I know that it is through education that children broaden their horizons and develop the skills they need to realise their potential. Education and learning are the real foundations for opportunity. Today, millions of children around the world are denied a chance to put those foundations in place. Progress towards the 2015 goal of universal primary education is slowing, leaving 67 million primary school age children locked out of classrooms – and many more receiving a sub-standard education.
Poverty, child labour, early marriage, and armed conflict are among the scourges holding back progress in education, along with failures of political leadership. The High Level Panel on global education was created to address what I see as a global crisis in education. As co-chair, along with Graca Machel – Madiba’s wife – I have spent time researching that crisis. I have spoken to political leaders, the heads of international agencies, and non-governmental organisations. And I have spent time talking to people at the sharp end of the crisis in education.
I have heard agonised stories from parents who want their children to be able to live the life they are capable of living, but are forced by circumstances to settle for something less; and I have spoken to children who are desperate for the education that they know could transform their lives. Africa’s newest nation My work as Co-Chair of the High Level Panel on global education has involved visits to many countries. But there is one country that illustrates more than any other what is not working in the current international aid 7.
The Right Honourable Gordon Brown MP, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Co-Chair of the High Level Panel on global education One of the great privileges that I have enjoyed in my political life is the opportunity to meet Nelson Mandela. Like many people around the world, I have been inspired by his life, his courage, and his wisdom. Through his personal example, he has demonstrated that iron resolve backed by practical endeavour and clear strategies can move mountains. Of the many words that I have read by Madiba, there is one sentence that I am always drawn to.
It is this: “There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living. ” Since becoming a parent I have often thought about these words. Like parents everywhere across the world, I want my children to have the lives they are capable of living. And like architecture on education. That country is South Sudan, Africa’s newest nation. Much has been achieved over the six years that have passed since South Sudan emerged from a brutal and protracted conflict.
Yet parents and children are still waiting for an education peace premium – and South Sudan is embarking on independence anchored to the bottom of the world league table on education. Over one million children of primary school age are out of school. Enrolment rates in secondary education are below 10 per cent. In what is a desperate situation for all children, South Sudan’s girls face additional disadvantages. Just 6 per cent of 13 year old girls have completed primary school.
So extreme are the gender inequalities that young girls in South Sudan are more than twice as likely to die in pregnancy or childbirth as they are to make it through primary school and into secondary education. Behind these numbers is a vast waste of potential. Getting children into school and providing them with decent quality opportunities for education would help them to build a better future, for themselves and their country. In an increasingly knowledgebased and interconnected world, sustained and shared prosperity depends not on what countries have in terms of natural resources, but on what their citizens are able to learn.
For South Sudan’s young people, education is a passport to employment. Education also has a wider role to play. Armed conflict and the threat of violence remains a source of insecurity for many of South Sudan’s people. Many factors are involved, including prejudice, long-standing hostilities, and attitudes that see recourse to violence as legitimate. With the right curriculum in place, the education system could act as a powerful force for peace8 building, the development of shared identity, and the creation of a society that is more resilient and less vulnerable to violence.
To its credit, the Government of the Republic of South Sudan (GRSS) is putting in place an education strategy that holds out the promise of a better future. However, it lacks the financial resources, technical capacity and institutional systems to overcome the vast backlog in education provision. That is why the international community has such an important role to play. Several donors, UN agencies and non-governmental organisations have put in place education programmes that are making a difference – but not on the required scale.
This paper sets out an agenda for change. It identifies a framework for policies that would: • Bring opportunities for improved education to 2. 5 million children, half of them currently out of school Provide financial support for the education of half-a-million girls Make provision for the education of 300,000 children displaced as a result of armed violence, or living in conflict zones Train 30,000 teachers and build 3,000 schools • • • Education in South Sudan: investing in a better future.
Achieving these goals will require additional resources. We set out a financing strategy that includes an increased resource mobilisation effort on the part of the GRSS. Development assistance will have to cover a financing gap of US$1. 6bn over the next four years, or US$400m annually. Our proposals include recommendations for individual donors. The Global Partnership for Education (GPE), the major multilateral mechanism charged with financing efforts to achieve the international development goals, has yet to establish a programme in South Sudan.
This is a wasted opportunity – and not just for South Sudan. The GPE needs to establish its credentials as an innovative and dynamic force for change in countries affected by conflict. The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) could also play a vital role. We propose a GPE-IDA cofinancing arrangement to mobilise US$180m annually. Other actors also have to step up to the plate. Bilateral donors and the European Commission could mobilise an additional US$100m annually.
Non-traditional donors – including China – could be approached. And the Africa Development Bank/Africa Development Fund has developed co-financing mechanisms that are well suited to support the development of education infrastructure. I am, of course, aware that some people will argue that the goals that have been set are too ambitious, that the costs are not affordable, and that South Sudan should concentrate on taking small steps in the right direction, rather than attempting a great leap forward. I do not accept these arguments.
In the course of research for this paper I have looked at the programmes of several nongovernmental organisations doing extraordinary work in education. The Ecumenical Church of South Sudan runs the largest teacher-training programme in the country, whilst the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC) operates over 500 schools in some of the most difficult parts of the country, providing thousands of children with the hope of a better future. And Save the Children is bringing health and education support to many communities.
These and other non-governmental organisations have found ways of delivering results, working with and through government. They are clear that, with additional support, they could scale-up their programmes. The same is true of UN agencies and many bilateral donors. Expanded delivery is held back not by a lack of capacity, but by a lack of predictable finance on a scale commensurate with the problem. Having reviewed the situation in South Sudan I am struck by similarities with other conflictaffected countries. Children in these countries should have first call on international support.
Instead, they are pushed to the back of the queue for development assistance. Education is not a priority in the humanitarian aid system – in fact, it accounts for less than 2 per cent of emergency aid. And because the governments of conflict-affected states are often unable – or unwilling – either to deliver services or to meet the reporting standards required by major donors, children and parents are left to fend for themselves. From Somalia and the refugee camps of northern Kenya, to the war zones of north-eastern.
Democratic Republic of Congo, conflict is destroying opportunities for education on an epic scale, and the aid system is providing limited protection. As an international community motivated by shared values and a common commitment to education, we must acknowledge this gap in the aid architecture – and then we must fill it. That is why I believe we need a new type of organisation to deliver not just money, but also teachers, books, temporary classrooms, and counsellors trained in trauma management to conflict areas.
It is against this background that we are planning to form a new type of organisation called Education without Borders. The aim: to provide a mechanism that galvanises support, coordinates action, and delivers aid and education services to those most in need. This is not an exercise in creating parallel structures. It is an attempt to create a mechanism through which a wide range of actors – the public, teachers and other education professionals, the business 9 community and others – can join a shared effort to keep the flame of education alive for children trapped in conflict.
It can achieve for education in broken down areas a little of what Medecins Sans Frontieres and the Red Cross achieve for health. Let me conclude by returning to the country that is the focus for this report. When I think of South Sudan, I think of a people who have shown extraordinary courage in the face of unimaginable adversity. I think of parents who, like you and me, want the best for their children. And I think of children who are filled with talent, potential and hope. It is to the children of South Sudan that I dedicate this report.
And it is on their behalf that I ask your support for the proposals it sets out. South Sudan’s children have waited long enough for the education peace premium. And they have a right to expect bold action and our best effort – not half-measures, hesitation and indifference. To paraphrase Madiba we are ‘playing small’ with education in South Sudan. And by playing small we are consigning a generation of children to lives that are immeasurably less than the lives they are capable of living. The children of South Sudan deserve better – and we must do better by them.
The Right Honourable Gordon Brown MP, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Co-Chair of the High Level Panel on global education Education in South Sudan: investing in a better future Children at the BRAC supported Hai Kugi School on the outskirts of Juba in South Sudan. © UNESCO /M. Hofer (2011) 10 Executive Summary “I never had the chance to finish school – but all my children must have an education. Then they can have the chance of a better life. No one will get anywhere in this country without an education.
” Beida Ropani, aged 28, farmer, Lora village, Central Equatoria, South Sudan. Education in South Sudan – investing in a better future The newly-independent country of South Sudan is anchored to the bottom of the world league table for education. More than half of its primary school age children – over 1 million in total – are out of school. Young girls are more likely to die in pregnancy or childbirth than to graduate from primary school. South Sudan’s young people face restricted opportunities for the education they need to build a better future for themselves and their country.
It is time for the world to come together and change this picture. The children of South Sudan have suffered enough. It is time to deliver the education peace premium that their parents hoped for – and that they deserve. The Government of the Republic of South Sudan (GRSS) has set ambitious goals in education but there are daunting obstacles to be overcome. The recent disruption of revenue from oil exports threatens to starve basic service budgets of the financing needed to build schools, health clinics, and vital social and economic infrastructure.
Ongoing violence in parts of the country is causing large-scale displacement and dislocation of services. There are problems in governance and in government capacity. The education system is under-financed. Most of the country’s teachers are untrained. There are chronic shortages of classrooms and textbooks. Learning outcomes are abysmal. Set against these challenges there is a vast untapped potential for change. At the heart of that potential are the people of South Sudan. They have shown extraordinary courage, resilience and commitment to education.
In the face of overwhelming odds, they have been trying to get their children the schooling they deserve. Enrolment numbers have more than doubled in the five years since the peace agreement. The GRSS has pledged to make education a priority – and that pledge is backed by a strategic plan for the construction of an education system. Donors have a more mixed record. Development assistance for education falls far below the level required to support a breakthrough. The education sector receives a low-level of support and aid efficiency has been hampered by weak coordination.
Most bilateral donors are operating programmes on a modest scale. While UNICEF has played an important role in coordination and reconstruction for education, the wider multilateral aid effort has been limited. Other actors are conspicuous by their absence. The Global Partnership for Education (GPE), a multilateral partnership that operates under the financial auspices of the World Bank, rightly describes itself as “the only multilateral partnership devoted to getting all out-of-school children into school for a quality education. ”i Promoting gender 11 equity is one of the GPE’s priorities.
South Sudan has a larger proportion of its children out of school than almost any other country in the world, along with the deepest gender inequalities. Yet six years after the peace agreement, the GPE has not yet delivered a programme in South Sudan. Hopes that this would change in early 2012 have not yet been realised. Following a review of the Government of South Sudan draft education strategy, the GPE secretariat determined that full endorsement of the plan would require its further development over several years and recommended that the government re-submit a less ambitious ‘transitional plan’.
An indicative allocation of just US$38 million over four years has been set aside – an amount that falls far short of what is needed. What should have been a test case for the GPE’s effectiveness has become a showcase for what is going wrong in an aid system that is too inflexible, slow-moving and unresponsive to the needs of conflict-affected countries. There is still time to change this picture. The Board of the GPE could demand an urgent review of the response to South Sudan’s education strategy.
It is also important that the World Bank steps up to the plate by putting into place a financing programme to support early delivery of results and longterm capacity building. What is clear is that the children of South Sudan have a right to expect something more. In the absence of a strengthened aid effort, South Sudan will fail to achieve the ambitious goals set by its government and demanded by its people. This paper sets out the case for a South Sudan Education Peace Premium (EPP) backed by a US$1. 6 billion aid investment over the period 2012-2016 – US$400 annually.
The GRSS would need to supplement this aid effort by 12 mobilizing an additional US$100m annually for education spending. Supplemented by an increased resource mobilisation effort on the part of the GRSS, the education peace premium would extend opportunities for some 2. 5 million children and adolescents. Beyond the wider benefits for poverty reduction, peace-building and state-building, returns from the peace premium would include: • • another 1 million primary school age children in school wider benefits for an additional 1.
5 million learners by improving the quality of education emergency provision for 300,000 children displaced by on-going conflicts early childhood provision for 300,000 children under the age of 5 support for half-a-million girls extended opportunities for adolescents and young adults who missed out on opportunities for basic education training for 30,000 teachers another 3000 schools for current and future generations of learners • • • • • • Education in South Sudan: investing in a better future Financing for the proposed EPP would be drawn from a range of sources.
Success will hinge on a compact between the GRSS and the international community, represented by a range of donors. Our proposal envisages a broader and deeper donor support base for education. We suggest that the GPE provide annual financing of US$90m, with the World Bank co-financing an equivalent amount through the International Development Association (IDA). Drawing on its extensive experience and project portfolio in post-conflict states, the African Development Bank/African Development Fund is well placed to support the development of school infrastructure and support.
We propose a financing contribution of around US$40m annually. Less concessional elements in the financing could be secured against future oil revenues. Bilateral donors and the European Union would have to mobilise another US$100 million annually, with non-traditional donors – including China – providing US$30m annually. We also argue that private foundations and charities should play a greater role in supporting education in South Sudan. Delivering an early and substantial education peace premium in South Sudan will be difficult – but the degree of difficulty should not be exaggerated.
Sustained progress will require the development of technical and administrative capacity, along with the development of more robust systems for transparency and accountability in public finance. Increased and more equitable public spending is critical. But governance constraints can be overcome by drawing on arrangements that have emerged since the comprehensive peace agreement, as well as the experiences of other countries. To that end, we propose the creation of a pooled fund for education. Jointly managed by donors and the GRSS, this would build on the practices established under the Basic Service Fund (BSF).
This has been the most successful of the pooled funding mechanisms in South Sudan, with spending of US$65m to date on primary education, health, water and sanitation. The BSF has been a major source of financing for school construction and teacher training. The great advantage of the facility is that it enables donors to pool risk and resources behind the government’s strategy, working through non-government organisations with a proven track record on delivery. With current pooled funding arrangements in South Sudan about to expire, there is an opportunity to put in place a flexible new structure for education.
Over time, the pooled funding mechanism could evolve into a sector-wide support programme. More immediately, it could mobilise support for non-governmental organisations working with government to build capacity and deliver results on the ground. The achievements of non-governmental organisations refute the claim that South Sudan lacks the conditions for an education take-off. Working with a broader alliance of churches, the Episcopal Church of South Sudan has developed the largest teacher inservice training programme in the country, meeting high standards of performance.
One of the largest non-governmental organisations providing education is the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee in Education (BRAC) – an agency with a proven track record in reaching highly marginalised communities and training female teachers. Save the Children is leading the implementation of a major alternative education programme financed by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DfID) and piloting innovative early childhood interventions.
We have based our cost-estimates for the education peace premium on the programmes of these and other NGOs with a proven capacity for scaling-up, as well as UN agencies and bilateral donors. In drawing up the proposed plan of action we do not discount the very real difficulties that will have to be addressed. Outcomes will depend on the development of a partnership between the GRSS, donors and nongovernmental organisations, and on political leadership on all sides.
Listing problems and enumerating the many technical reasons that can be found either for delaying action, or for testing the water with small-scale pilot programmes, is easy. But South Sudan’s children cannot afford delay and prevarication 13 – and the country cannot afford to waste the potential of a generation of youth. Our proposal combines the four critical requirements for delivering results: achievable targets, an efficient delivery mechanism, predictable aid, and a compact between the GRSS, donors and non-governmental organisations.
Headline figures for the cost of the proposed programme have to be considered against the potential flow of benefits, as measured by the number of children in school, the expanded opportunities for learning, and the renewed hope that will come with progress in education. The US$400m a year for four years that is required may seem unaffordable. The question that has to be asked is whether the world is willing to stand-by while 2. 5 million children lose their chance for an education that could lift them out of poverty, create jobs, build a more peaceful and resilient society, and support economic growth.
Failure to expand opportunities for education will increase the risk of more conflict, which will in turn leave donors facing the prospect of increased humanitarian aid costs. Viewed against this alternative, the cost of implementing the actions proposed in this report is a small price to pay for a very high return. ii Education in South Sudan: investing in a better future An agenda for action This report sets out an agenda for achieving an educational breakthrough in South Sudan. Proposals include: • Additional aid of US$400m annually for four years, with domestic budget resources increased by US$100m annually.
The GPE and IDA to mobilise US$180m through a co-financing arrangement. An independent assessment of the GPE’s review of the South Sudan draft education strategy. The creation of a pooled fund for education in South Sudan to provide a focal point for government support. Measures to support disadvantaged children, including financial incentives for parents to keep children in school, especially young girls; expanded education provision in conflict-affected areas; and programmes for adolescents. Expanded programmes for training teachers and recruitment of female teachers.
• • • • • 14 Introduction The Republic of South Sudan is sub-Saharan Africa’s newest nation. Established in July 2011, the country achieved statehood facing enormous challenges. The Government of South Sudan (GRSS), created with the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005, inherited none of the institutions associated with an independent state. South Sudan’s human development indicators are among the worst in the world. The human capital and physical infrastructure are limited. Insecurity remains a major concern across many parts of the country.
Yet independence has unleashed a wave of hope, optimism and expectation. Having endured a brutal and long-running civil war that claimed over 2 million lives, South Sudan’s people have a right to expect a ‘peace dividend’, including improved access to basic services, more secure livelihoods, and greater safety. Failure to deliver in these areas would be a lost opportunity with tragic human consequences for the people of South Sudan, and with damaging implication for peace and security not just across the new nation, but across the region.
Delivering the education peace dividend Perhaps more than any other sector, education has the potential to deliver an early, large and highly visible peace dividend. The education system in any country is a point of contact between governments and their citizens. And in a country like South Sudan, where the civil war destroyed educational opportunities for generations, the presence of functioning schools, teachers and books has the potential to demonstrate that the peace is delivering.
Moreover, South Sudan’s people attach a very high value to education, with survey evidence showing that parents identify schooling – alongside food and water – as being a major priority. Across South Sudan, parents and young people are striving to overturn a legacy of illiteracy, restricted opportunity, and poor quality schooling. In towns and villages across the country, desperately poor people are working to get their children into an embryonic and over-stretched education system. The GRSS is working with partners to strengthen that system and build capacity.
While the term ‘post-conflict reconstruction’ is widely used to describe the process now underway in South Sudan, in the case of education – and other basic services – it is misleading. Six years ago this was a country without an education system. Even today, only the initial foundations are in place. So this is a case of post-conflict construction in a country that inherited no infrastructure and has very limited human resources. Against this backdrop, the achievements registered in education since the 2005 peace accords have been extraordinary.
The number of children in primary school has doubled in five years. Over 500 classrooms have been constructed. Led by a clear statement of intent on the part of President Salva Kiir, the GRSS has put in place ambitious plans to accelerate progress towards the 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). South Sudan’s constitution includes a provision establishing the entitlement to ‘free and compulsory education at the primary level’. The South Sudan Development Plan includes a wide range of 2015/16 targets for education aimed at putting the country on track for the MDGs.
iii The Ministry of General Education and Instruction (MoGEI) is finalising a strategy 15 aimed at translating these targets and highlevel political commitments into policies and spending commitments aimed at achieving the MDGs and wider Education for All goals by 2022. iv Currently available in draft form, that strategy – Promoting learning for all – aims to get the country on course for universal primary education by 2016, with expanded provision of second chance education, measures to improve learning achievement levels and a range of strategies aimed at closing the gender gap.
The document, which has been drawn up in close consultation with the Local Donor Group, bears testimony to the professionalism of staff in the Ministry of General Education and Instruction (MoGEI). Several bilateral donors, UN agencies and non-governmental organisations are supporting the reconstruction effort, often working under difficult conditions. UNICEF’s Go to School Programme helped to double school enrolment in three years.
Both the government and its partners have demonstrated a capacity for flexibility and innovation, building classrooms, delivering textbooks and training teachers. v Nongovernmental organisations are active across the country, often operating in areas affected by conflict. While experience under the World Bank-managed Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) was disappointing, another pooled funding arrangement – the Basic Services Fund (BSF) – delivered cost-effective results, notably in school construction and teacher training.
One of the strengths of the BSF has been its ability to lower transaction costs and achieve economies of scale in delivery. For those who question the capacity of international aid and partnerships in education to deliver results on the ground, the evidence from South Sudan tells a different story. Donors and non-governmental organisations have found ways of delivering results, working in the process to build government capacity. 16.
The challenge now is to build on best practice and scale-up the level of ambition in an environment that may deteriorate as a result of budget austerity. The oil crisis Like all other sectors, education stands to be severely affected by the ongoing crisis over oil exports. Failure to resolve that crisis will have grave consequences for South Sudan (as it will for Khartoum), raising the spectre of a reversal of the fragile gains in education, health, water and other areas that have been achieved over the six years since the comprehensive peace agreement.
With oil accounting for 98 per cent of government revenues, even a modest loss of export earnings would lead to significant cuts in expenditure. The background to the crisis can be briefly summarised. Since the comprehensive peace agreement, oil from South Sudan has been exported through pipelines from Sudan. As of March 2012, pipelines from two of the three oilfields were close to shut-down. The GRSS decision was prompted by a heavy transit tax levied by the Government of Sudan and a subsequent seizure of oil shipments by the government in Khartou.