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Educational attainment, South Sudan

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EDUCSS indicates the person's educational attainment in South Sudan in terms of the level of schooling and grade completed.

Comparability — General

Prior to the establishment of the Government of Southern Sudan in 2005, there was no formal ministry of education of Southern Sudan. Since 2005, pre-university education of Southern Sudan follows a 3-8-4 system. The education systems are comprised of pre-school, primary, and secondary levels.

The pre-school stage consists of three levels: 1) baby/infant (3-4 years of age), 2) middle/nursery (4-5 years of age), and 3) top/graduate (5-6 years of age), and lasts three years. Many pre-primary schools in Southern Sudan also serve early grade levels of primary school P1-P2. The 2008 sample includes Koranic schools known as Khalwas in the pre-school category.

Basic primary education starts at age 6 and is comprised of 8 years of primary grade levels (G1-G8) culminating at age 13. In South Sudan, some primary schools follow the Ugandan system, which allow pupils to take the final leaving exam in the 7th grade. Children who pass the primary exit examination in the 8th grade continue on to secondary school or vocational training.

Since 1961, primary education is composed of the sub-grade elementary and the complete elementary stages. The sub-grade elementary stage offers a 3-year incomplete primary program and the complete elementary offers a 4-year program. At the close of the 4-year complete program students take the intermediate entrance examination to qualify for intermediate primary education (Grades 5-8).

South Sudan has an Alternative Education System (AES) established in 2005 that was initially targeted towards demilitarized children soldiers, but now invites pupils of all ages. The AES system compresses the eight primary grades into four years. Students graduating from the AES system either enter formal primary schools or secondary school systems.

The secondary education system consists of four grade levels, from Secondary 1 to Secondary 1 (S1-S4). It is important to note that secondary education in South Sudan is a mixture of Kenyan, Ugandan, Northern Sudanese and South Sudanese curricula and can be comprised of different education ladders. Non-governmental (national and foreign) schools can offer curricula that differ from that offered in government-run schools.

In this variable, categories "junior 3" and "junior 4" are interpreted as lower secondary, but the census documentation does not provide information about these categories. In the 1960s, the Ugandan education system consisted of two levels of junior secondary (Junior I-II) and four years of senior secondary (Secondary 1-4).

Tertiary education is comprised of universities, higher institutes, and colleges offering degree and diploma courses in academic or technical fields. Bachelor degrees are four years (five in the case of honor degrees) and professional degrees generally take five to six years. Post-graduate diplomas last one or two years after the bachelor's degree and are only offered in certain disciplines. Master's degrees are two to three years and doctorate degrees three to four years after the master's degree.


  • Persons who ever attended school


  • South Sudan: 2008