GESS to Support Distance Learning as Schools Across South Sudan Close in Response to Covid-19 Outbreak

April 1, 2020 11:27 am

As Covid-19 continues to spread across the globe, South Sudan has taken measures to protect its citizens, including closing schools. Girls’ Education South Sudan (GESS) and its partners will be helping to manage and mitigate the impact of the virus, ensuring learning does not stop. The programme will be supporting learners, education managers and practitioners, and helping with recovery efforts so that schools can reopen safely. It will do this by using systems that have been put in place during the earlier phase of the programme. This will enable a rapid and effective response to the crisis.

Proto credit: Bruno Bierrenbach Feder

The current global initiatives which are looking to move towards e-learning, assume that all people have access to the internet. This is certainly not the case in South Sudan. In a country that does not have the hardware or internet connectivity to scale-up digital learning, it is vital that we use alternative means to ensure that the children of South Sudan continue to have access to learning.

GESS is proposing a number of adaptive approaches using radio and other media, such as SMS. These channels are appropriate for South Sudan’s media landscape, with radio being the most widely accessed media source (GESS’ National Endline Survey, 2018) in the country. These distance learning pathways will ensure that learners do not miss out on required instructional time and teachers can maintain and build their skills through remote training packages.

Radio will help to get key messages to parents, learners and wider communities across the country

The proposed interventions will be developed in close collaboration with our partners – the Ministry of General Education & Instruction (MoGEI), DFID, Global Affairs Canada and other relevant sector partners, such as the Ministry of Health, WHO, UNICEF and UNESCO.

We want to assure learners, teachers, education managers and parents that we will be doing everything we can to roll out these interventions as quickly as possible. Our priority is to make sure that children continue to learn and communities stay safe.

For more information on Covid-19 and how to best protect yourself and your family call the toll-free number – 6666 – in South Sudan.


The GESS programme receives £70 million (GBP) of UK aid from the UK Government and $15 million (CAD) from the Government of Canada through Global Affairs Canada. The Ministry of General Education and Instruction (MoGEI) leads the GESS programme, supported by implementing partners who provide technical advice. GESS is managed by a consortium led by Cambridge Education/Mott MacDonald, including BBC Media Action, Montrose, Leonard Cheshire and Windle Trust International. E-mail: Phone: +211 928 136 999 (MTN)/ +211 917 780 442 (Zain)


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