On May 25th 2022, GESS joined partners in South Sudan for a multi-stakeholder workshop on inclusive education. The workshop brought together different partners working in the education sector.
South Sudan is part of a comprehensive mapping exercise of disability inclusive education initiatives in Eastern and Southern Africa, commissioned by UNICEF Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office.
This workshop provided an opportunity for partners to jointly review and assess progress towards disability inclusive education in the country and to hold a focus group discussion with young people living with disability.
In the workshop, GESS presented the progress made in disability inclusion during the second phase of the Programme. Amongst others, our achievements were:
- Improved disability data to ensure improved planning and delivery at all levels
- Improving enrolment and retention of girls with disabilities by changing attitudes
- Creating accessible learning environments
- Capacity building and empowerment of educators and support staff
GESS is an inclusive programme that aims to leave no child behind, including children with disabilities.
With support from the Ministry of General Education and Instruction (MoGEI), the Programme has focused on ensuring that data on learners with disabilities is captured accurately through Pupil Attendance Registers. In 2020, only 3,895 children (out of a total of 2.61 million) were identified as having a disability, across the whole country. In 2020/2021 academic year 30,170 children, out of a total of 2.58 million children enrolled, were identified as leaners with disabilities.
This is significant improvement and an achievement. MoGEI and GESS ensure data of learners is disaggregated by disability. When data is appropriately disaggregated, the appropriate services can be provided to those who need them and ensure no one is left behind.
We call upon all stakeholders, including parents, guardians, and communities, to ensure that children with disabilities are given equal opportunities to access quality education.