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22.02.2016

Children resume exams in South Sudan

It’s been a long two years since these children were able to sit a primary school final.

© UNICEF South Sudan/2016/Hamer

"BENTIU, South Sudan, 22 February 2016 – For children all over the world, exams can bring dread. But for a small group of students seeking shelter in South Sudan’s largest displacement camp, it’s a time of great excitement.

These students are sitting a national primary school final for the first time since conflict engulfed the country more than two years ago, the Primary 8."

Students from several counties across conflict-ridden Unity State are taking the exam, but the majority – 189, of whom 71 are girls – live in the Bentiu Protection of Civilians site. This sprawling tent and tin city is the largest United Nations-protected displacement camp in the country, sheltering some 120,000 people who have fled their homes over the course of the fighting. ..."

"South Sudan – the youngest country in the world – struggles with some of the lowest education indicators. Over half of primary- and lower-secondary-age children are not accessing an education. The adult literacy rate is about 32 per cent; for women, it is 25 per cent. ..."

"UNICEF has been working with representatives of both sides of the conflict to have the test reintroduced, since mid-2015. Nyaruon is among 3,700 children taking the test in areas in which conflict has made this rite of academic passage impossible. 'After two years of disappointment and obstacles because of the ongoing crisis, finally we managed to get these first children to take the exam,' says UNICEF's education officer in Bentiu Luel Deng Ding. 'I am very satisfied and proud.' "

According to Ding, children under 18 account for more than 50 per cent of those living in the Bentiu site. ..."

"UNICEF’s goal is to get 30,000 children and young people living in the site back in education by the end of 201

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