Education in South Sudan

South Sudan’s education system is characterized as a low investment, low capacity, but high demand system. The state building and peace building efforts of the national plans put high demand on the education system to expand fast, reduce inequity, and provide appropriate teaching. But public expenditure is one of the world’s lowest for education.

The basics of the sector administration and management are rudimentary, which started to develop, along with the rest of the civil service in the country, only after the 2005 Peace Agreement. But capacity building efforts of the government have been interrupted by conflict.

The General Education Sector Plan (GESP) 2017-2022, titled 'Planning for Safety, Resilience and Social Cohesion', is an effort to contain this stress on the system, and to give the sector a direction towards stability based on data, evidence and financing outlays.

Blogs and news

Gudele West Basic School outside Juba, South Sudan. Credit: GPE/David K. Bridges
February 27, 2019
On the sidelines of the recent Education World Forum in London, The PIE News caught up with South Sudanese Minister of education, Deng Deng Hoc Yai, who noted that their priorities are to promote...
Children and teacher raise their hands. Malawi Primary School. Credit: GPE/Tara O'Connell
January 10, 2019
As we start 2019, we share some of our New Year’s resolutions to ensure more children are in school and learning.
Students at Nyamachaki Primary School, Kenya. Credit: GPE/Kelley Lynch
December 03, 2018
Global Citizen has announced 57 commitments totaling more than US$7 billion, surpassing its goal seven times, and significant commitments were also made to #FundEducation.

Latest grant

Students from a government school on the outskirts of Juba. South Sudan. May 2013.

CREDIT: GPE/David K. Bridges
Development objective: ensure an increased equitable access to quality education
Grant agent:UNICEF

The GPE II program financed by the US$35.7 million grant, is designed to ensure that by the end of 2021, the number of boys and girls who are
out of school in target areas decreases by 15%, while ensuring an increased equitable access to quality education through working closely with other programs.

The program has three components to improve equitable access, education quality and system efficiency.

  • Equitable access: support schools and communities to bring out of school children back to school. Mapping of out of school children, construction and rehabilitation of 2000 learning spaces, community mobilization, and advocacy for enrolling girls are the key activities. The mapping will be complemented by a school infrastructure audit conducted under the Accelerated Funding program and will give a complete picture of where more learning spaces are required to increase enrolment. A set of criteria has been framed to select school construction sites.


All amounts are in US dollars.

Grant type Years Allocations Disbursements Grant agent  
Program implementation 2019-2021 35,700,000 UNICEF
2018-2019 6,000,000 UNICEF
2013-2018 36,100,000 34,782,567 UNICEF
Sector plan development 2015 467,079 467,079 UNESCO
  TOTAL 78,267,079 35,249,646    

Education sector progress

The graphs below show overall progress in the education sector in South Sudan. For detailed results from GPE funding, please look for progress reports in the grants section.


Primary completion rate (%)

Lower secondary completion rate

Out-of-school rate for children of primary school age

Out-of-school rate for adolescents of lower secondary school age

Pre-primary gross enrollment rate

Gender parity index for out-of-school rate – Primary and lower secondary

Public expenditure on education as share of GDP (%)

Public expenditure on education as a share of public expenditure (%)

Students/trained teacher ratio

Teachers trained (%)

Source: World Bank - Education Data
Data on education are compiled by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Institute for Statistics from official responses to surveys and from reports provided by education authorities in each country.

Last updated December 21, 2018