Abyei celebrates the back to learning campaign
The Ministry of Education in the Abyei Administrative Area on Monday celebrated the ‘Back to Learning Campaign’ which intends to let all children and adults have access to education services to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
In interviews during the celebration, several pupils highlighted the challenges they have been facing since schools reopened in May 2021.
Dallia Karar Osman, a senior 4 pupil at Amothabek Secondary School in Abyei town, told Radio Tamazuj that she is worried about the upcoming national exams since the teaching has not been promising in her school.
"We have so many problems in our school but we hope to bring Abyei up in the upcoming national exams. How can you pass if subjects like accounting and literature have not been introduced since the reopening of schools up to now,” Karar lamented.
Bol Nyok Deng, a senior 3 pupil from the same school, also complained about inadequate teachers to cover all subjects and said he appreciated the ‘Back to Learning Campaign’ because it will make the government focus on the challenges schools face.
"Back to learning is a good celebration because it will allow those who don't have jobs to join us in schools. Teaching is not that good in our school. Teachers are few like we have only four teachers in Amothabek Secondary School," Nyok said.
According to the headteacher at Abyei Girl's Primary School, Bulabek Deng Alor said the understanding of taking children of all sex to school has been better understood in Abyei this year compared to the last few years.
"Everyone must go back to school, those dropouts if they have interest, they all must go back to school. The idea of education is understood not like before, even now you can get a child of 6 years in Primary one.” Deng said. “Our challenges are many, like I am very young of about 40 years and to manage girls for three years, it is not easy, but thank God I managed it without problems. Yes, teachers are few but the government is helping the few teachers who are teaching in the evening. Now, the government needs to employ teachers.”
The World Food Program (WFP) head of Field office in Abyei, Stephen Moseray, also said the WFP is committed to supporting education in its school feeding program.
"People of Abyei and Agook have to send their children to schools as schools were interrupted last year due to Covid-19 and it is good to create community awareness of the ‘Back to Learning Campaign’. WFP is committed to supporting all schools in Abyei with school meals to retain children in school,” WFP’s Moseray said.
The education minister in Abyei, Nyanwut Kuol, said the 13 months when schools were closed required that the community be mobilized and sensitized about the go back to school campaign.
"We are celebrating the ‘Back to school campaign’ because our community has been staying for 13 months without their children studying due to coronavirus. Some parents might be reluctant to send children to school, especially girl children, but this campaign will encourage both children and parents. Children can see other friends going to school and they do the same and parents as well can send their children to school too when seeing neighbors are sending their children to learning centers," she said.
She said the issue of insufficient teaching staff is the general problem in the country, saying it doesn’t happen only in the Abyei Administrative Area.
“You see, the lack of teachers is not only a problem of Abyei but general problems in ten states. Some teachers have joined NGOs for better pay as the government cannot afford to pay a teacher 1,000 USD as organizations do. Our government in the Administrative Area is topping up teachers’ salaries, like one teacher is monthly receiving 20, 000SSP," Kuol said.