2.5 Million Textbooks Distributed to Reach More Learners in South Sudan

Thursday 23 May 2024

H.E. Hussein Abdelbagi Akol, the vice president for service delivery cluster in the Republic of South Sudan, Hon. Awut Deng Achuil, the Minister of General Education and Instruction in the Republic of South Sudan and education officials inspects the textbooks during the launch in Juba. Photo: Cicilia Ade Hillary / Save the Children.

JUBA, SOUTH SUDAN, 23 May 2024 : Over 2.5 million textbooks were handed to school leaders in Juba today, as part of a massive program aimed at ensuring out-of-school children are able to learn in South Sudan. The textbooks will play a vital role in the teaching and learning process that gives every child the best possible opportunities for education in South Sudan.

The program, led by Save the Children in partnership with Norwegian Refugee Council, Finn Church Aid, and the Ministry of General Education and Instruction (MoGEI), and funded by the Education Cannot Wait (ECW) initiative, is one of the most wide-reaching education resourcing initiatives in South Sudan.

For the first time, Arabic language and Islamic Religious Education (IRE) textbooks were also printed and launched in South Sudan.

With funding from ECW’s Multi-Year Resilience Programme (MYRP) for South Sudan,  this recent distribution of 2.5 million textbooks adds to the already distributed 1.12 million textbooks, making a total of more than 3.5 million textbooks distributed since 2021.

These textbooks are crucial in the teaching and learning process, ensuring more children in South Sudan - regardless of their background - can have the best possible opportunities for education.

Ahmed Omar Ibrahim, Save the Children’s Acting Country Director for South Sudan, said:

[1]An estimated 2 million internally displaced and returnees’ children, along with nearly 41,000 teachers, all require education-related humanitarian aid in South Sudan. These needs are diverse and necessitate comprehensive, multi-sectoral interventions, particularly in hard-to-reach areas. Lack of enough teaching materials, such as text books, has contributed to these children, with girls comprising 53 percent, facing significant barriers to accessing education. Notably, children with disabilities, especially those in crisis-affected areas, continue to lack adequate learning support for quality education.

“Save the Children is committed to improving access to safe and conducive learning environments for vulnerable groups, particularly internally displaced persons (IDPs) and returnees. In 2024, approximately 41,000 teachers, primarily in hard-to-reach areas, will require support with teaching materials and incentives to ensure quality education. The textbooks increase learning materials for students, including those in early childhood education.”

H.E. Hussein Abdelbagi Akol, the vice president for service delivery cluster in the Republic of South Sudan, flagged out the textbooks for distribution under the theme “An Inclusive National Curriculum for Transforming Education in South Sudan.”

The launch of Arabic Language and Islamic Religious Education is an achievement; it reaffirms the commitment to providing quality education for all. There will be a challenge in teaching this textbook if we don’t have enough teachers, so I encourage the Ministry to focus on ensuring that there are available teachers to teach Arabic Language and Islamic Religious Education, said Hussein Abdelbagi Akol. 

 “The 2.5 million textbooks that we are distributing to schools this morning will contribute to reducing the pupil-textbook ratio. When I came to the office, it was 1 to 19 learners per textbook in core subjects such as English language and mathematics; today, it is three learners per book; this is not good enough; my objective is one school child per textbook.”, said, Hon. Awut Deng Achuil, the Minister of General education and Instruction in the Republic of South Sudan”

In 2023, Save the Children South Sudan reached nearly 70,000 children with education support.


About Save the Children in South Sudan.

Save the Children has been working with and for children, their families, and communities in South Sudan since 1991. Under education, Save the Children works to improve children’s lives by supporting the construction or rehabilitation of schools, training teachers, and providing scholastic materials to learners. In 2023, Save the Children reached over 1.9 million people in South Sudan, including over 1.1 million children, through its various programmes focused on health, nutrition, education, child protection, food security and livelihoods, and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH).

About Education Cannot Wait (ECW) in South Sudan.

[2]Education Cannot Wait (ECW) is the United Nations global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises. We support quality education outcomes for refugee, internally displaced, and other crisis-affected girls and boys, so no one is left behind. Since 2020, Education Cannot Wait (ECW) has supported partners in improving access to quality, inclusive education for children and adolescents and increasing retention rates. ECW’s funding focuses on the most vulnerable ones, including girls, internally displaced children, and children with disabilities. Interventions range from covering school fees, reaching students remotely, training education personnel, and implementing child protection pathways in schools.


Save the Children Inquiries

Juba: Tito Justin, Media and Communication Manager, South Sudan, Tito.Justin@savethechildren.org | +211922844458

Nairobi: Delfhin Mugo, Regional Media Manager,  East and Southern  Africa,  Delfhin.Mugo@savethechildren.org;

Our media out of hours (BST) contact is media@savethechildren.org.uk / +44(0)7831 650409