The United Nations Children’s agency, Unicef has revealed that some 24 million children in nations at war worldwide are not in school.
According to the children’s agency, the 24 million children is out of a total of 109 million children that are in school. The agency also disclosed that more than half of children in South Sudan are not in school, and this makes the highest proportion in any country worldwide.
It identifies the two years’ war in the troubled region as the cause, adding that although a peace deal was signed in August, the situation is still not improved.
The agency ranks Niger second, with about 47% children unable to attend school. Sudan follows next with 41% and Afghanistan with 40%. Unicef noted that prior to the conflict, about 1.4 million children were not in school.
Since the war broke out, more than 800 schools have been demolished and more than 400,000 children had to abandon their classrooms, the agency said. Despite the peace agreement, violence persists in some areas.
Unicef's chief of education for South Sudan, Phuong T Nguyen, said that only one in 10 South Sudanese students who enter school finish primary education amid a shortage of facilities and trained teachers.
According to a South Sudanese official, the AP news agency reports that enrolment went up from under 30% after South Sudan became independent in 2011, but the war and lack of school buildings and qualified teachers have slowed the growth.