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Introduction:

Education is the main pillar for the any
progress if the country wants to develop socially, politically and
economically. Denying access and provision of better education to the people implies
preparation for suffering such as persistent poverty, insecurity, poor health,
economic collapse, disease such as HIV/AIDS and poor living standard of living.

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According to the Universal declaration
of human right, Education has been mark as an important right to any person and
the united nation convention on child rights affirms that every girl and every
boy have access to quality education. That means the whole world has recognized
the importance of investing in the education of both boys and girls as it will
allow them in the future to have access to political rights, employment and
health. The importance of education is not only to the government but also to
the future of the children. Once the country invests in education, it is
indirectly fighting poverty, gender inequality, and bad cultural practices like
early marriage, child compensation, and outbreak of HIV/AIDs, Child mortality,
insecurity and corruption which then leads to economic growth.

However, the education agenda
implementation in developing countries have not been met as millions of
children are left out without accessing education opportunities and the few who
attend schools might still be faced with poor quality of education such as poor
infrastructures, untrained teachers, long distance schools, incomplete grades,
insecurity especially in remotes and pastoralist societies hence putting the
future of the country dark.

Disparities refers to unequal
distribution of academic resource including but not limited to; funding, books
but it depend from country to country (wikipededia). It intends to provide the
best opportunities for all students to achieve their full potential and act to
address instances of disadvantage which restrict educational achievement.  It involves special treatment/action taken to
reverse the historical and social disadvantages that prevent learners from
accessing and benefiting from education on equal grounds.  Equity measures are not fair per se but are
implemented to ensure fairness and equality of outcome.

In this paper, it will compare the
issues that still creates gaps in the education provision in South Sudan and
Malawi by discussing the differences and similarities as well as suggesting
some possible ways of eliminating the gaps so that all the children get access
to education.

 Education context of South Sudan

South
Sudan has been experiencing series of political upheavals since  from the time of Anglo-Egyptian condominium
rule of 1955-1972 and the second civil war that has lasted for 21 years from
1983 to 2005 leading to singing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). On
the 9th July 2011, South Sudan gained independence through a
referendum in January 2011 as an outcome of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement
that gave people a lot of hope but again in December 15th 2015,
another civil strife broke out and up to now. So, the provision of educations
services in South Sudan is yet surrounded with many challenges as the result of
the war and among these is the high number of many young people that missed out
formal and systematic education. South Sudan education Action plan is founded
on the international educational goals and principles that targets 2022 for
achieving the education for all and the millennium Development Goals (MDG). The main goals and objectives are; access, equity, retention, completion
internal efficiency and quality from pre-primary to tertiary levels are to be
achieved. The indicators to access, equity, quality and efficiency of education
are dim.

According to the various reports from the
Government of South Sudan and UNICEF, access to basic education for school age
children is below average 44% with 17 % of schools offering primary education
to the eighth level and learner ration of 248:1 in permanent classrooms across
the country. 90.9% over-age learners are in primary schools. Girl’s enrolment stands
at 37.1% and 1.3% in primary and secondary schools respectively. Female
teachers constitute a mere 10.5% of secondary school teachers nationwide.
Coupled with large number of untrained teachers (qualified teacher ratio at
primary level is 117:1) and inadequate learning and instructional materials,
educational quality and standards are highly compromised with negative bearing
on the learners. Only 10.3% learners according to the government statistics complete
their basic education. Thus, the high school dropout rate (27.3%) in primary
and 39.1% in secondary schools and corresponding 9.2% and 5.5% school
repetition rate in primary and secondary schools respectively indicates general
inefficiency of education service provision across the country.

 

Education
context of Malawi

Like South Sudan, Malawi education
structure is 8:4:4. That is eight years in primary, four years in secondary and
4 years university education. In 1994, the government of Malawi introduced free
primary education to all children in Malawi which aims at getting all children
to have access, progression and retention in school so that they get
appropriate knowledge, skills that will help in eliminating poverty amongst the
people of Malawi.

Although the governments of Malawi
introduces Free Primary Education, the education system of Malawi is still
being faced by numerous challenges HIV/AIDS, poverty, poor infrastructure,
shortage of teachers and the community negative attitude. Besides, the quality
of education in Malawi also performs very poor compare to the neighboring
countries. It is likely that the large number or increase in enrollment is
because of the children who cannot progress academically and hence a lot of
money is being wasted for repeaters. 
Furthermore, the household survey (2005) shows that majority of the
population are poor with 52% as poor, meanwhile 24% in acute poverty (NSO
2005). So 56% of villagers  are poor
compared to 24% of the rich population living in the town.

According EMIS, UN population data and
World Bank database, indicates that since 2000, the gross enrollment ratio
(GER) has decreased in primary education. In 2007, it was 101% and early
childhood care and development indicates a very high increase in the enrollment
from 2 to 23%. Coverage in secondary education stayed stable 16%. Enrollment in
adult literacy program is 1,074 learners per 100,000 inhabitants. Malawi
performs worse in post-Primary level and technical, entrepreneurial, vocational
education and training (TEVET) compared to other sub-Saharan African Countries (SSA)

EMIS (2007) database, HIS (2004)
repetition structure and UN population data also shows that access to standard
1 in primary education is universal but the dropout rate is still high leading
to only 35% primary completion rate. The rate within the primary cycle improved
from 23% in 2004 to 32% in 2007, but remains insufficient. The retention rate
in primary education comes from lack of demand among the poorest. Economic
difficulties and behavior such as early marriage, pregnancy and family
responsibility explains the fragility of school demand. Lack of supply (crowded
classrooms, temporary class rooms and incomplete schools) has a negative effect
on retention. Therefore, all the factors that lead to disparities in education
provision in Malawi are therefore explained below.

Socioeconomic
problem in South Sudan education.

South Sudan is the most country with the least
economy in the world and it has the highest population living below the poverty
line (SSCCSE 2008). The difference in social and economic status in background
of the children creates differences not only in accessing education
opportunities but also in retention and it contradicts with the Millennium
development goal number two of universal education.

National Baseline Household Survey (2009) indicates
that children of the rich and in urban areas get better access to education
than poor children in and the one in rural areas and the gap of being in school
by the last grade are widest for the urban-rural and rich-poor dimensions. So
poor family reports lack of money to meet the education cost unlike the rich
one.

Socioeconomic
problem in Malawi Education.

Majority of the population of Malawi are
poor and the few rich one are the one living in towns enjoying all the
necessary social amenities. There have been persistent differences among the
people in Malawi ranging from the rich to the rural population. They few rich
class have good income and the live in the urban centers, meanwhile the poor
one entirely live the villages carrying out agricultural activities which
sometimes is affected by the unpredictable weather or climatic changes.
Therefore, Socioeconomic is therefore the major driving factor in the life of
children to have equal access in meeting their learning needs.

The children from the rich background
always are more enrolled in school and retained unlike the few number rural
children who get enrolled but may drop out due to school fees and other cost
that the parents may not effort apart from the poor learning facilities such as
classrooms and in complete schools. 
Economic constrain has a ways been a reason given by  parents, children and teachers for
non-enrolment and drop out (Davison and Kanyuka, 1990, Kainja, 1990,
Grant-Lewis and others, 1990, Kapakasa 1992, Hyde and Kadzamira, 1994,
Burchfield and Kadzamira, 1996, Kadzamira and Ndalama, 1997)  even after the introduction of  free primary education and  the abolition of school fees, economic
constraints still feature as a key constraint on girls’ participation in more
recent surveys (Burchfield and Kadzamira, 1996, Kadzamira and Ndalama, 1997).

According to MICS (2000) data, it
indicates that 76% is the number of children from the urban population of the
rich who join higher education compared to rural students yet the major cities
in Malawi  are only (Lilongwe, Blantre,
Mzuzu and Zomba. The richest 20 household are 91.3% who reach higher education while
only 0.7% come from poor. UNESCO (2014) also shows that 86% school children
enrolled in primary school, 5% youth did not get formal education, 57% never
completed primary, hence making a total of 62% that did not complete primary
education. The gap between the rich and the poor still remain high when
compared as indicated by data from EPDC, DHS dataset (2010) that there are 18%
of poor children are out of primary school compared to 3% of rich children out
of school and meanwhile the gap widened more in accessing secondary education,
so 16% of the rich children are out in secondary school and 38% poor children
do not join secondary school. So the large number out of school both in primary
and secondary are the poor.

Community
attitude and learning environment in South Sudan Education.

The community and the surrounding in
which the children are have an impact in their education. There is a tendency
by the community or parents paying negative attitude towards girls education.
According to a Care International Survey of the School, girls non enrollment
was due to household task. So this increases or creates a wider gap between
boys and girls in terms of school attendance. On the other hand, schools in
rural areas are very far from home and pupils have to move long distance to
attend School (NBHS 2009), so this makes many children both boys and girls drop
out of school and the children from urban residence always give a different
reason of not attending school is attributed to school fees. Generally, the gap
between boys and girls in accessing basic education is narrowing than a decade
ago.

Therefore, this show there is has to be
p of more learning needs supply-side issues in rural areas, where many children
may not have a school that is close enough for them to attend. Simply building
more schools may be enough to bring many additional children into classroom.

Community
attitude and learning Environment in Malawi education.

In Malawi, some communities have
voluntarily shown lack of demand for education and this is majorly on the rural
population. People living in the village have little interest in education as
the look at it a risky investment compared to the community living in urban
areas. So this explains why there more children in urban center attend schools
more than the children in rural areas. School infrastructure and learning
materials are not enough, for instance the classrooms are temporary or open
air,  that means when there is rain
schools might not operate and some schools are not complete compared to urban
areas where classes are well built and the schools are complete from grade one
to eight thus leading to school dropout. This has been indicated in the data
got from EPDC, DHS dataset of 2010) which shows 5% urban children out of
primary school, 11% rural children out of school and in secondary school, urban
children out of school are 23% but rural children are 28% out of secondary
school.

Teachers and the school community have
negative attitude towards girls. They believe that girls cannot perform as boys.
The schools are also far that requires long distance walk hence exposing the
girls to a lot of dangers such as being, raped, harassment and teased by boys.
Hyde (1994) reported that male and female teachers felt that boys were more
interested in school work than girls. Teacher attitudes and perceptions do not differ
from those found in wider society. For example, boys are also perceived to be
intelligent, hardworking, motivated and cooperative, whilst girls are perceived
to be easy to control, passive, submissive and calm by their teachers (Kainja
and Mkandawire 1990). It has also been reported that teachers pay more
attention to boys in class and girls participate less in classroom activities
(Davison and Kanyuka 1990, Sey 1997).

Cultural
practices a cross the three Regions of South Sudan

South Sudan is divided in to three
region that is; Equatoria, Upper Nile and Bahr-el-Ghazal. In all these three
regions, there is still existence of negative perception towards girl’s
education. Although there were many intervention and awareness campaign done,
girls are still given little attention to learning in school than boys because
girls are being used as a source of wealth (cows) when she gets married, labour
like cooking, fetching water, working in the garden and investing in their
education was a waste as they may get pregnant and less cows paid.

School Baseline Assessment (2002) by
UNICEF indicates that 26% of school children were girls and in the 2009
enrollment data from the Education Management Information System (EMIS), girls
made up 37% of total enrollments in primary schools, 27% secondary schools, and
24% in higher education. As the grade goes high, the percentage decreases.

However, the recent report from the
Education Secretariats shows a decline in girl’s enrollment from 26% as per
School Baseline Assessment (SBA 2002) to 23.6% because of conflict in some
parts of South Sudan that has displaced some children.

Socio-cultural
factors a cross all the region in Malawi.

Some cultural practices creates
disparities in the education system of Malawi thus widening a gap between boys
and girls. Many parents have some belief and negative attitude whereby a girl
can be enrolled and pulled her out of school at any time they wish for any
reason such as early marriages and pregnancies as it have been cited by many
surveys as one of the main deterrents to girls’ participation (Kainja, 1990;
Sagawa and Thawe, 1990; Grant-Lewis (1990); Kapakasa, 1992; Hyde and Kadzamira,
1994; Burchfield and Kadzamira, 1996; Kadzamira and Ndalama, 1997). Many
parents value marriage and child bearing than education (Burchfield and
Kadzamira, 1996). It is this kind of practices that made many girls to drop out
of school by getting marriage at a lower age of about 15 years old than boys

Similarities
of disparities on the education provisions of South Sudan and Malawi

     
All
children from different population groups ever enroll in grade 1 and remain in
school until grade 8 depends on various socioeconomic factors.

     
 Rural children, poorer children, and girls are
all at a considerable disadvantage, with the widest gaps associated with the
urban-rural and rich-poor dimensions.

     
There
is continuous gap between boys’ and girls’ enrollment at all levels of
education, it has diminished greatly over recent years.

     
Gaps
in school participation remain, however, and girls are also affected by higher
repetition and dropout rates than boys Overall, the two most important reasons
provided for nonattendance are cost of schooling and distance to school.

     
The
gender gap is much smaller for the current generation of children than among
adults, even among young adults under age 30. This shows that girls are among
the main beneficiaries of the recent expansion in educational coverage.

     
Boys
and girls provide largely the same reasons for not being in school. But for
urban children, the main reason for nonattendance is the cost of schooling; for
rural children, the main reason provided is distance to school.

     
In
South Sudan and Malawi, School children from expressed that the schools are
located far from home.  

Differences
in education disparities between South Sudan and Malawi


There
is a regional disparity in education provision in South Sudan in both primary
and secondary and more disparities in the completion of secondary completion
with greater gender disparities.


Malawi
has no regional disparities in education access and there is parity when it
comes to upper secondary completion.


In
South Sudan, there is great difference between boys and girls attending
secondary education. So few girls attend secondary education.


There
is a slight difference in the number of boys and girls attending secondary and
higher education. So more boys and girls attend secondary and higher education
in Malawi.


Internal
conflict, War has affected the education of many South Sudanese children from
having access to education.


High
incidence of HIV/AIDs, parental and community attitude toward education in
Malawi created a gap in the education provision in Malawi.

Conclusion:

Although South Sudan and Malawi have
been working harking hard to provide education access and equity to their
citizens, there is still some significance disparities in education provision
in primary and upper secondary school with a some element of gender disparities
especially the few number of girls completing upper secondary education.

Therefore, during the course of
examining the disparities in both countries, South Sudan and Malawi need to
improve on the following issued mentioned so as to eliminate these disparities
in education.

     
South
Sudan government should look at possible way of ending the conflict so that
more number of children will have access to education.

     
South
Sudanese ministry of education should put more effort in providing education
supply such as schools construction in some regions of the country.

     
The
government of Malawi should carry more awareness on the importance of girls
education in nation building.

     
Both
South Sudan and Malawi should keep strong focus of increasing access and
retention on education.

     
Malawi
should work hard in sensitizing the citizens on HIV/AIDs and it’s danger while
providing counseling and giving medication to the victims.

     
South
Sudan and Malawi should keep on addressing inequality across gender, region,
location and globally.

 

 

 

 

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