17th January 2021
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Children receive radio sets for distance learning

Author: Priscah Akol | Published: Thursday, December 24, 2020

School children receive radio sets from Awut Deng, Minister for General Education and Instruction, and USAID/South Sudan Acting Mission Director Jeremiah Carew. Credit|UNICEF South Sudan

The government and the UN Children’s Agency have distributed 27,000 radio sets to help facilitate distance learning program for pupils.

5,000 radio sets were distributed in September this year.

We are very grateful and we value the partnership we are in today,” said Awut Deng, Minister for General Education and Instruction.

A total of 32,000 solar-powered radios funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, USAID, will benefit up to 160,000 vulnerable school children in South Sudan.

Four to five children in a household are expected to learn from each radio set which has been allocated to an individual child.

The collaboration between the Ministry of General Education and Instruction, UNICEF and USAID is aimed at ensuring children continue their education through distance learning, following the closure of schools in March due to the coronavirus.

The Minister of General Education said radio will mostly help children in remote areas.

“This resource must reach to the target group, it should not sit in the State, it has to go down to those students in the counties to benefit them,” Awut Deng emphasized during the handover of the radio sets in Juba on Wednesday.

Awut added that learners who have not been able to resume their studies in person will be able to follow the lessons on South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation and Radio Miraya.

“My message to my children, it is not easy but this is a great opportunity that must take to listen to your lessons,” she said.

The acting UNICEF Representative in South Sudan, Benjamin Kilonzo mentioned that UNICEF will distribute the radio sets through its 12 field offices across South Sudan.

“The Ministry of General Education, USAID and UNICEF will expand access to learning for children who have been excluded from education in the past,” he affirmed.

“The radio will also increase access to top-quality basic education to children who have been affected by conflict,” Kilonzo stated.

Development agencies say South Sudan was already a country with the highest proportion of out-of-school children, with 2.2 million children not enrolled before the pandemic.

According to USAID, the distribution of the solar-powered radios adds to improve access to quality education for South Sudan’s most vulnerable children.

The donor organization funded a three-year Integrated Essential Emergency Education Services project in the 10 states where over 600,000 children were able to access quality learning in a safe and conducive environment.

“This host-country led distance learning response exemplifies the journey to self-reliance that USAID promotes,” said USAID/South Sudan Acting Mission Director Jeremiah Carew.

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