The need... for higher education
South Sudan is the world’s newest country, having gained independence from Sudan in 2011, six years after a comprehensive peace agreement brought Africa’s longest running civil war to an end. With a population of just under 12 million people South Sudan has a long way to go to climb out of poverty. Although the number of primary school students has doubled between 2006 and 2010, still only 1 in 3 school aged children are in school.
Although the situation in South Sudan is fragile, it is vital for us to get this university
up and running so that we can contribute effectively to building peace and stability.
Education is the best answer to change the dynamics of violence in our country.
However, the project requires our commitment, dedication and determination.
It requires us to stand and work together to achieve our dream.
Revd Dr Joseph Bilal
The Episcopal University
In 2011, 30,000 young people who were qualified for university entrance were not able to access places in South Sudan government universities due to the lack of capacity in existing institutions. Many of them developed anti-social behaviour and were targeted by the warlords for recruits as militia to promote the war. A high quality Church university is essential to close this gap.
Educating people to help develop South Sudan is the key to its development. The country desperately needs doctors, nurses, trained teachers, engineers, agriculturalists, lawyers and business people who are committed to building a peaceful and prosperous nation.
The Episcopal Church has a long history of promoting peace and encouraging education in South Sudan. Today the Episcopal Church of South Sudan & Sudan (ECSSS) has five well-established theological colleges, four Bible schools and one Vocational Training Centre. It also has 12 secondary schools and over 280 primary schools and pre-schools, serving over 8,000 students. Furthermore, the church has played a prominent role in brokering peace agreements, including the latest one reached in August 2015 following a spate of conflicts that erupted in 2013.
The number of secondary schools is also increasing, although only 60% of schoolteachers are trained. This means that more and more young people are graduating from secondary school, but with few prospects for further education. In 2011, 30,000 young people who were eligible to enter university but had nowhere to go because of the lack of university places.