08 September 2010

New report on Vocational Education in Southern Sudan

Essential reading for Southern-Sudanese-education-policy-wonks. The Full Report is downloadable here:

Starting from Scratch: The Challenges of Including Youth in Rebuilding Southern Sudan.

Written by the marvelous Karuna Herrmann for the Women’s Refugee Commission.

The context is appalling. Only half of primary-age kids are in school. Only 2% of girls 14-17 years old are in secondary school.

Despite this, many of the issues around vocational training are strangely similar to those in the UK (I did some work on this briefly for the British government).

Namely, a poor reputation for vocational training relative to formal academic education, training providers struggling to link graduates with jobs, and the best vocational training often coming from employers themselves. In the UK, this led to the widely-mocked government-recognition of McDonalds training.

There are also some great interviews with young Southern Sudanese giving a flavour of the everyday ordeals which have been all too common for this generation.

Emmanuel Maniol, 24: “I am 24 years old and I was born in Khartoum. My family left Lakes in 1983 because of the war. In 1995 my uncle came to Khartoum and my parents decided that I should return to the south so that I could receive education in English, because in Khartoum the schools teach only in Arabic.

We took a plane from Khartoum to Wau. This was possible because the government was helping the IDPs [internally displaced people] to return and so they arranged our fight. We reached Wau by plane and they left us there. The only way for us to reach Lakes state was on foot, so I walked with my uncle from Wau to Rumbek. Many others were walking with us, and the journey took us fifteen days [my emphasis] because I was still small and could not walk very fast. There were many challenges for us along the way. There were still many wild animals in the bush then and I was very afraid, and there was never enough food.

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