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A Fresh Start Awaits South Sudanese Schools After Six Months

Council of Ministers in South Sudan has finally lifted the ban on the Education sector that President Salva Kiir imposed in March as a measure to curb the spread of the Coronavirus in schools.

Information minister Michael Makuei in an interview on Saturday, substantiated the claim, saying it followed a diligent study by the National Taskforce on Covid-19.

“This decision was based on the report presented by the taskforce. It observed that the level of infection has reduced and there have been no more cases in the last few weeks,” he said.

“After that study, it was decided that schools and higher learning institutions should re-open at times to be fixed by the General and Higher Education ministries. The guidelines to be followed will be issued by the concerned ministries.”

The minister also added that the restrictions on the working hours have also been lifted and that all offices will be open from 8 am to 5 pm with effect from next week.

By taking preventive steps such as closing borders, schools, and non-essential businesses, banning interstate travel, and limiting public transport, the South Sudanese government managed to contain the spread of the deadly virus.

However, after humanitarian agencies like Save the Children, UNICEF and UNESCO discovered that children are harmed in other ways by extended stays at home, they released a press statement in July, advising nations to reconsider opening learning institutions once again.

Many children, according to the organizations, were malnourished because school food programs had ceased to operate, while others were abused.       

In May, the Ministry of General Education and Instructions reported 23 cases of teenage pregnancies in Western Equatoria State alone.

And in July, Eastern Equatoria State authorities said the redundancy caused by the Covid-19 lockdown left over 125 teenage girls pregnant since the emergence of the virus in South Sudan.

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