- Early childhood care and education (Entry/Establishment ○ Financial operation ○ Quality of teaching and learning ○ Equitable access ○ Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability)
- Primary and secondary education (Entry/Establishment ○ Financial operation ○ Quality of teaching and learning ○ Equitable access ○ Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability)
- Tertiary education (Entry/Establishment ○ Financial operation ○ Quality of teaching and learning ○ Equitable access ○ Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability)
The General Education Act 2012, which governs education from early childhood to tertiary level in South Sudan, defines a “private school” as a school which is “owned by individual(s), NGO(s), religious denomination, community or civil society organizations and not funded by the government”. The Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan 2011 (as amended in 2013) similarly refers to “public” and “private” educational institutions which “every person or groups of persons” has the “right to establish and maintain” (Section 38).
Most education (73% of schools) at primary level (8 years, beginning at age 6) is provided by the state in South Sudan, while secondary education (4 years, beginning at age 14) has a higher share in non-state provision, with over 50% of schools and 40% of enrolments in non-state schools. Former Central Equatoria State in particular has the highest share of non-state schools in the republic, covering 60% of all schools at primary and 74% of all schools at secondary level in the state. According to the General Education Act 2012 (and reaffirmed in the Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan 2011 and Child Act 2008), the state is obliged to provide 8 years of free and compulsory education to all citizens in South Sudan (at primary level), while endeavoring to provide the “necessary financial resources to make education affordable at secondary and higher levels”. Enrolment rates largely differ in each level, with a 61% gross enrolment rate (GER) at primary, and only 7% GER at secondary level.
Primary education is provided through formal instruction and three alternative education programs (AEPs) to increase access to education for disadvantaged communities (including girls, out-of-school children, and pastoralists): the Community Girl Schools Program, Accelerated Learning Program, and Pastoralist Education Program. These programs are mostly provided by the state (73% of all AEP schools), but additionally established and maintained by NGOs, religious groups, community-based organizations, and development partners.
Non-state managed, state schools
No information was found.
Non-state funded, state schools
No information was found.
Independent, non-state schools
Private schools are a small share (less than 5%) of independent non-state schools owned by individuals or groups that operate on a for-profit basis and are mainly funded through student fees. These schools follow the national curriculum and use English as their language of instruction from primary grade 4, with the exception of international and diplomatic schools which follow international curricula and examination systems. Arabic instruction remains predominant in specific areas of the countries due to the heritage of the Sudanese education system and lack of English instruction capacities.
There are also several low-fee private schools that have been identified in research literature and distinguished in the General Education Strategic Plan 2017-22, which refers to ‘low-cost boarding schools for girls’ and ‘low-cost community/faith-based/privately owned ECDE centres in underserved states’. The research literature records an increase in low-fee private schools in Juba prior to the civil war in 2013, with likelihood of the number of these schools decreasing as a consequence of the war.
State-funded (government-aided), non-state schools
Most non-state schools in South Sudan are community schools and faith-based schools which are established and operated by communities, NGOs, civil society organizations, or religious groups on a non-profit basis. All non-profit schools in South Sudan are funded by the state through capitation grants and cash transfers to cover operational costs including school maintenance, supplies, stationary, repairs, and transport. AEP schools may additionally be provided with teachers, school furniture, and textbooks. Community and faith-based schools follow the national curriculum and may charge relatively low fees or no fees for student attendance.
Contracted, non-state schools
No information was found.
While there is no provision on the legality of homeschooling in South Sudan, according to the General Education Act 2012, students may only be exempt from compulsory school attendance on medical grounds, while the AEP may include “home-study” as part of its programs.
In March 2020, all schools were ordered to close due to COVID-19, during which the Ministry of General Education and Instruction, through collaboration with external development partners such as USAID and UNICEF aimed to ensure the continuity of learning through distance learning, with radios being distributed to children from vulnerable households across the country.
Market contracted (Voucher schools)
No information was found.
While no information was found on unregistered schools at the primary and secondary level, several unregistered private universities have been identified by the Ministry of Higher Education (but not included in official statistics).
Both state and non-state education in South Sudan is governed and regulated by two Ministries, the Ministry of General Education and Instruction (MoGEI) (responsible for early childhood to secondary education) and the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology (MoHEST), governing tertiary education in the country. The National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) is also responsible for tertiary education provision (in collaboration with the MoHEST). The MoGEI aims to “set national standards for public and private schools”, in addition to making regulations for the inspection of public and private schools.
The supervision and management of education services is based on a heavily decentralized structure, in which responsibilities are divided among national ministries, State Ministries of Education, County Education Departments, and Payam Education Offices. According to the General Education Strategic Plan 2017-22, the MoGEI plans on establishing a Private Schools Department at both the national and state level to monitor non-state schools within each locality, while the MoHEST has established a Directorate of Private, Foreign and Philanthropic Institutions which is specifically responsible for non-state provision and regulation. There is also the South Sudan Union of Private Schools, which represents private schools in the country.
Vision: According to the Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan 2011 (Section 38/3), “every person or group of persons shall have the right to establish and maintain private schools and other educational institutions at all levels in accordance with the conditions and standards prescribed by law”. The General Education Strategic Plan 2017-22 strongly encourages non-state participation in the provision of education through the promotion of public-private partnerships to increase access to education, particularly in under-served areas. It specifically outlines how the MoGEI will “promote low-cost community/faith-based/privately owned early childhood development education centres in underserved states”. The Ministry “will also encourage private education providers to establish secondary boarding schools, especially in states where none currently exist”, claiming that the Private Schools Policy (in draft) will ensure minimum quality standards.
Early childhood care and education (ECCE) in South Sudan covers ages 3 – 5 and is mainly provided in urban and semi-urban areas by non-state actors, with over 65% of all ECCE centres owned by communities, private providers, NGOs, and faith-based organizations (covering over 70% of total enrolments). Similar to primary and secondary schools, Former Central Equatoria State has the highest share of non-state ECCE provision, with over 80% of all ECCE centres owned by non-state actors. According to the General Education Strategic Plan 2017-22, non-state actors are viewed as playing a “crucial role in expanding access to ECCE throughout the country” and the MoGEI will strongly encourage the establishment of low-cost community, private, and faith-based ECCE centers in underserved states. Regarding state provision, the MoGEI plans to attach ECCE services to existing primary schools, and is in the process of developing a national ECCE policy with minimum standards to apply to all ECCE services, irrespective of ownership.
Registration and approval: Communities, private providers, NGOs, and faith-based organizations can establish an ECCE centre in South Sudan by applying for registration at their state ECCE Department (under the State Ministry of Education). To be considered for registration, applicants must fulfil the minimum requirements which include teacher-pupil ratio, secure facilities, and a satisfactory playground area (with outdoor play equipment).
License: If the applicant meets the minimum criteria, the State ECCE Department will grant them a registration license.
Profit-making: ECCE centres can be run on a for-profit or non-profit basis.
Taxes and subsidies: While the development of state ECCE services within existing primary schools is financed by the government at the national and state level, no specific information was found regarding state subsidies, grants or aid to non-state ECCE centres.
Curriculum and education standards: The South Sudan Curriculum Framework sets the main goals and learning areas for ECCE (which are competency-based and learner-centered), but this is not compulsory for non-state ECCE centres in the country. According to the General Education Act 2012, the MoGEI plans to draft an ECCE policy with minimum standards that will apply to all ECCE centers, irrespective of ownership. The medium of instruction in all ECCE centers however must be the indigenous language of the area.
Teaching profession: All teachers employed in ECCE centres (irrespective of whether the centre is state or non-state) are required to possess a South Sudan secondary school certificate (or its equivalent) from a recognized teacher training institution and be registered with the MoGEI. Moreover, there are pre-service and in-service training programs developed which all teachers must follow.
Policies for vulnerable groups: No information was found.
Fee-setting: No information was found.
Reporting requirements: While no specific accountability requirements were found for non-state ECCE centers, the MoGEI plans on developing a rigorous and robust financial accountability process for ECCE centers that may receive funding from the state.
Inspection: All ECCE centers are inspected on a regular basis (at least once every term) by county school inspectors and payam school supervisors to monitor whether they comply with the required standards. While there are no specific quality standards for ECCE provision, the ECCE policy (in draft) plans to include minimum standards that will apply to all centers.
Child assessment: All ECCE centers are encouraged to conduct regular assessments of student learning outcomes to guide transition and grading.
Sanctions: If any ECCE center is found to be in violation of any existing rules or regulations, the State ECCE Department may close the institution until the state or county officers are satisfied that it fulfils the required standards.
Registration and approval: Private providers, communities, NGOs, and faith-based organizations that wish to establish a non-state school in South Sudan are required to apply for registration with the State Ministry of Education. To be considered for registration, applicants must comply with the minimum requirements set in the Establishment and Management of Private Schools 2017 document, which includes standards on school premises, suitability of proprietor, welfare, health and safety, registration, and deregistration.
License: If the State Ministry of Education is satisfied that minimum standards have been met, the provider will be issued a license to operate.
Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH): All schools in South Sudan (state and non-state) are required to have an adequate number of clean toilets (separated by sex and accessible to students with disabilities), as well as sufficient clean drinking water.
Profit-making: While non-state schools in South Sudan can operate on a for-profit basis, only non-profit schools are eligible for government subsidies.
Taxes and subsidies: According to the State and Local Government Education Planning, Budgeting, and Reporting Guidelines, all non-profit schools in South Sudan (including state, community, and religious schools) are provided with school capitation grants to cover basic operational costs such as school supplies, stationary, maintenance, minor repairs, transport, and extracurricular activities. The amount of aid received is calculated based on an equal ‘base’ amount and an additional capitation amount based on the number of pupils enrolled. The MoGEI states however that these grants must only be used to cover these (and similar) costs and cannot be used for non-teaching staff or ‘topping up’ teachers on government payroll.
Curriculum and education standards: All state and non-state schools in South Sudan are required to follow the national school curriculum and syllabi developed by the Curriculum Development Centre, with the exception of international and diplomatic schools. The unified curriculum (implemented in 2019/2020) is secular and includes the development of peacebuilding skills and social cohesion. The medium of instruction for all schools must be the indigenous language of the area until primary 3, after which the language of instruction must be English (with the indigenous language as a subject).
Textbooks and learning materials: No information was found.
Teaching profession: The General Education Act 2012 lists the minimum qualification and training requirements for all teachers (no matter whether employed in state or non-state schools), based on education level. According to the Ministerial Order on Registration of Teachers 2017, all teachers are additionally required to be registered with the MoGEI and licensed to join the teaching profession, while the Establishment and Management of Private Schools 2017 document includes standards on supply and suitability of staff in non-state schools in particular. Teacher working conditions for all teachers (state and non-state) (including salaries, allowances, recruitment, and deployment) are regulated by the Ministry in consultation with the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Human Resource Development through the Civil Service Act 2011 and Public Service Regulations. According to the General Education Act 2012 (which includes conditions of service for all teachers), “all teachers shall be appointed and terminated in accordance with the Public Service Regulations”, with performance assessment and promotion of teachers conducted in accordance with the Civil Service Act 2011. The Teacher’s Professional Code of Conduct 2008 (which includes professional responsibilities and conduct for teachers) also applies to all teachers (state and non-state). Finally, the Ministerial Order on Girls Education 2017 requires all schools in South Sudan to take positive action in favor of female teachers in order to ensure enough role models for girls in schools and address the issue of gender inequality in the workforce, also stated in the South Sudan Female Teachers’ Affirmative Action Policy 2014-18.
Corporal punishment: Corporal punishment is explicitly prohibited in both state and non-state schools in the Ministerial Order No.41/2017. The act is additionally prohibited in the Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan 2011 (as amended in 2013), the General Education Act 2012, and the Child Act 2008, but these documents do not clarify whether the prohibition applies to non-state schools specifically.
Other safety measures and COVID-19: No information was found.
Fee-setting: Non-state schools in South Sudan are free to charge “reasonable” school fees based on the standards set in the Establishment and Management of Private Schools 2017 document. Registration fees must be removed in the case of non-profit schools, as these costs are covered in the capitation grants received from the state. In 2021, following complaints by parents on schools charging exorbitant tuition fees (some requiring fees to be paid in US dollars), the Ministry issued an order regulating the fees charged in private schools, that were prohibited from charging over 80,000 South Sudanese Pounds (615 USD) from day students and (for boarding schools) not over 200,000 Pounds (1,535 USD) per year. The deputy minister for General Education additionally stated that student extra-curricular activities (like sports) must be made optional for parents and guardians. In response, several private school proprietors threatened to close their institution if the government does not revoke its decision.
Admission selection and processes: No information was found.
Policies for vulnerable groups: South Sudan has several affirmative action policies and regulations in place that focus on promoting gender equity in education with the aim to “redress past and current discriminatory practices and beliefs which do not encourage institutions of learning to be more representative”. According to the Ministerial Order on Girls Education 2017, all schools (no matter whether state or non-state) must provide cash transfers and scholarships to girls for the achievement of free and compulsory education and adopt a gender-sensitive curriculum. Moreover, non-state schools must promote girls education as an integral part of their corporate social responsibility and provide a girl-friendly school environment. The Girls Education Strategy for South Sudan 2015-17 aims to eliminate all barriers in girls access to education, encouraging the private sector and companies to contribute through innovative approaches.
School board: According to the School Governance Policy 2014 and Ministerial Order on School Governance 2017, every primary school and secondary school (no matter whether state or non-state) must establish a School Management Committee (for primary schools), a Board of Governors (for secondary schools), and a Parent-Teachers Association (for both). School Management Committees and Boards of Governors must be comprised of teachers, students, PTA members, community leaders, and representatives of professional bodies. According to the Ministerial Order on Girls Education 2017, each governing body must ensure an adequate representation of women, while the Alternative Education Systems Implementation Guide 2013 additionally encourages the participation of out-of-school children and youth at AEP schools.
Reporting requirements: All non-profit schools in South Sudan that receive regular grants from the state are required to submit semi-annual reports on their use of the funds to the State Ministry of Education. Moreover, aided schools must produce a budget to be approved by the School Management Committee and Parent Teacher Association of the institution.
Inspection: According to the Ministerial Order on School Inspection 2017, all state and non-state schools are subject to 3-day inspections each term by a minimum of three inspectors from the County Education Department or Payam Education Office based on the National School Inspection Framework and standards listed in the order. Schools are rated based on a 4-rate grading system (ranging from outstanding to inadequate) and evaluated in terms of facilities, management, curriculum, and teaching staff.
Student assessment: The South Sudan Examinations Council administers examinations for all schools (state and non-state) in South Sudan at primary and secondary level, with the exception of international and diplomatic schools which follow international examination systems.
Diplomas and degrees: Each non-state school determines whether their students can progress from each education level based on the minimum standards developed by the MoGEI. The South Sudan Examinations Council issues certificates for all schools in South Sudan, except international and diplomatic schools (which are issued international certificates).
Sanctions: If any non-state school is found to be in violation of existing rules and regulations, the school will be subject to closure from the State Ministry of Education. The Establishment and Management of Private Schools 2017 document provides the specific standards that would lead to a non-state school being closed.
In 2018, there were 3 state universities and 6 recognized non-state universities. Non-state tertiary institutions are mainly categorized into private, foreign, or philanthropic institutions, and regulated by the Higher Education Act of South Sudan 2012. These institutions operate independently, many of which remain unregulated by the state. The country mainly witnessed a mushrooming of private tertiary education institutions since 2005, with approximately 34 private institutions (accounting for 3% of overall enrolments) recorded to be operating in 2012 (most of which were operating without a license in inadequate and poor quality infrastructure). In 2018, several unregistered private universities and colleges were closed down by the Ministry of Higher Education which failed to meet the ministry's registration requirements. According to the Higher Education Framework 2011, the NCHE is responsible for developing laws and regulations for the registration and accreditation of private, foreign and philanthropic institutions.
Registration and approval: Private universities and colleges are required to be registered under the MoHEST. To be considered for registration, applicants must submit a certificate of incorporation in addition to all the required documents (including information on curriculum) to the Directorate of Foreign and Private Institutions (along with a registration fee).
License: If the institution meets all the minimum standards to the satisfaction of the Minister, the applicant is issued an operational license.
Profit-making: No information was found.
Taxes and subsidies: No information was found.
Curriculum and education standards: The curriculum of private tertiary institutions must be approved upon registration.
Teaching profession: No information was found.
Fee-setting: No information was found.
Admission selection and processes: Admissions in higher education are regulated by the Admission to Higher Education Institutions Regulations 2012.
Board: No information was found.
Reporting requirements: No information was found.
Inspection: No information was found.
Assessment: No information was found.
Diplomas and degrees: Any diplomas and degrees issued by tertiary education institutions are required to be authenticated by the MoHEST.
Sanctions: Unlicensed private universities or colleges may be subject to closure by the MoHEST if they fail to meet registration requirements.
The General Education Act 2012 refers to “tutoring” as specialized teaching provided for a small or specialized group of students., while the Southern Sudan Teacher’s Professional Code of Conduct 2008 defines “private tuition” as “unauthorized teaching outside school working hours”. No information was found regarding the existence or regulation of private tuition centers in South Sudan.
No information was found.
No information was found.
No information was found.