Engagement in gender and children with disabilities inclusion in education
The project intends to build the capacity of civil society groups to strengthen mutual accountability of education policy dialogue and monitoring and a broad diversity of civil society actors. The project envisages that increasing the effective representation of civil society in institutional policy dialogue, improving the availability of relevant information to enable the development of more informed, gender responsive policies and supporting advocacy to advance the public interest in education, all comprise important strategies to help build strong public education systems.
Lessons from implementation of the last project indicate that more efforts need to be increased in ensuring the inclusion of gender and children with disabilities in education planning and policy implementation. As can be deduced from the context analysis, more than 3.4 million school-aged children in South Sudan are out of school, 51% girls as a result of cumulative effects of years of conflict, a surge in sub-national violence, unprecedented flooding and hyperinflation, further compounded by the COVID-19 in 2020.
In addition, while all citizens of South Sudan have the right to education regardless of disability or gender as enshrined in Article 29 of the Transitional Constitution, people with disabilities (PWD) have not been able to realize this human right with school attendance for PWD stagnating at a paltry 22%, the majority of whom are male, with a dropout rate of 48%.
The project aims to strengthen NEC CSOs engagement in gender and children with disability inclusion in education planning, policy development and monitoring in South Sudan.The major problem to be addressed by this proposed project specifically is the limited civil society organizations engagement as right holders to playing an active role in gender and children with disability inclusion in education planning, policy development and monitoring in South Sudan.
The proposed project specific objectives will include;
- To strengthen NEC capacity in supporting coordination across the education sector in relation to engagement in policy dialogues by December 2023.
- To promote effective participation of NEC members strategic influencing of key issues in gender and children with disabilities inclusion in formal education policy processes by December 2023.
- To contribute to the establishment of an active mechanism in monitoring and accountability of national education programmes to ensure the delivery of transformative policies and programmes that accelerate access, learning outcomes, and gender equality.
The proposed project envisions a close collaboration with the following stakeholders being critical in strengthening national CSO engagement in gender and children with disability inclusion in education planning, policy development and monitoring in South Sudan. These will include;
- Government; NEC proposes to engage the state and national Ministry of General Education and Instruction (MoGEI) especially the gender and children with disability mainstreaming and planning departments to take a lead in creating a conducive environment for civil society organizations to participate in its programs. This is being cognizant of the government’s role as a key duty bearer in fulfilling rights to education for children in South Sudan;
- Community; community environment provides for the first child learning space. It’s communities around schools that should make sure schools are safe and healthy environment for learning to take place for girls and children with disabilities; School authorities – leadership of schools, including teaching staff forms a critical part in how quality education is delivered. They are solely responsible for the wellbeing of students at school;
- Humanitarian & Development Partners – Given the context of South Sudan delivering basic education has been in most part supported by humanitarian and development partners;
- Media – Media, although yet to develop in South Sudan, has always remained a major tool for checks and balances. The project will work to ensure that civil society organizations have access through media to voice out issues of gender mainstreaming and responsiveness in the education sector.
Finally, these initiatives will be reinforced through assessing government policies performance and budget allocation in gender and children with disability inclusion in education planning and use of social accountability approaches in a way that will contribute to EOL’s goal, objectives and outcomes.
An earlier phase of the project was implemented in 2020-2021 with support from Education Out Loud.