A record >215,000 girls across the whole of South Sudan will receive a Cash Transfer from Girls’ Education South Sudan (GESS), a collaboration of the Ministry of General Education and Instruction (MoGEI) and UK aid, with the transfers all due to be paid out by mid-November. The Honorable Undersecretary Ministry of General Education and Instruction, the Deputy Director of Partner Coordination and GESS Team Leader launched the 2017 Cash Transfers on Monday 25th September at St. Kizito Basic School in Juba. Enrolment in South Sudan’s schools for 2017 stands at a record 1.49m pupils, 44.5% of them girls - both records, and remarkable in the context of ongoing conflict. GESS Team Leader, Akuja Mading de Garang MBE, said: “I am delighted that more pupils are continuing their education for longer, and especially that a record 250,000 girls are enrolled in P5-S4: but there is much more to do to make sure that every girl can go on to secondary school.”. This is the fourth year of UK aid support for GESS Cash Transfers. In 2017 GESS will provide 2,900 SSP to each validated school girl enrolled in and regularly attending school from Primary 5 through to Secondary 4. Akuja Mading de Garang MBE said: “Regular attendance is vital: it is the foundation of learning; and what gets measured, gets managed – that’s why it is great that each week over 2,000 schools send a pupil attendance report to MoGEI’s School Attendance Monitoring System (SAMS – www.sssams.org): now we need to get every one of the almost 3,600 schools across the country doing the same”. Enrolment and attendance data collected by SAMS shows impact of Cash Transfers. The gender gap between girls and boys is narrower than ever – nationwide, girls now make up a record 44.5% of pupils. Michael Lopuke Lotyam, Under Secretary, MoGEI said: “I want to encourage girls, schools, and communities to take this process seriously: transparency is the best antiseptic; if you are a parent of a daughter in P5-S4, make sure she is attending regularly, make sure she has her Cash Transfer Enrolment Form with her, and make sure you witness her getting her money.” “I also know that there can be those who want to use processes like these for wrong purposes. As Accounting Officer, I treat partner funds and government funds with absolutely the same approach: I want to make clear MoGEI has zero tolerance of fraud and corruption, and will press for serious penalties for any attempts to dishonestly access, divert or misuse these funds. Equally, there will be no blame for those who report promptly and truthfully if something has gone wrong”. Stay tuned for weekly updates on the Cash Transfer payment process.