Continuity plan to support education in South Sudan during COVID-19

The Girls’ Education South Sudan (GESS) and its partners will be helping to manage and mitigate the impact of the Coronavirus disease (COVID -19), ensuring learning does not stop.  This follows the closing of schools in South Sudan, as one of the measures taken by the government to protect its citizens against COVID-19. 

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.

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 to 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.

The proposed interventions are being developed in close collaboration with partners including 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. Priority is to make sure that children continue to learn and communities stay safe.

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 2 aims to promote equity in education by increasing levels of gender parity in enrolment and improving girls’ attainment. As a GESS 2 consortium partner, Montrose supports the South Sudanese education sector to improve Knowledge, Evidence, Research and Learning.