On Monday October 5th, 2020, all gates of schools in South Sudan were opened to receive students after six months of lock down due to the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic in the country. The pandemic has affected almost every country globally forcing people to re-adjust to cope up with the new life style.
Schools had closed, public places or social gathering has closed down in South Sudan. The country had adopted distance learning through use of radio for its school going children but this has not been effective since many families do not own a radio set.
Stella Kuba is a student who is not in candidate class, she said staying home is very frustrating because she misses going to school very much.
She added it’s difficult to revise from home because her siblings are always making noise and she has to help with house chores.
Stella said that staying home until April is really not going to be easy and she wants the ministry of education to do everything possible to have all students go back to school in January next year.
“I want the government and the health partners to do their best so that we can all go back to school. I know that corona virus is not over yet but staying home is not easy”, stressed the student.
Another student Konga Nancy Felix is very frustrated that only candidates are being favored which is not fair for the other students and pupils.
She added that even the lower classes need to take their promotional examination so that they can go to the next class but this is not possible since they are told to stay home till next year.
“I’m very dis appointed with this system that only candidates should continue with their classes what about other students or pupils? We all need to be promoted to the next class but now next year again we shall be repeating the same class and the candidates will go to the next class this is not fair,” she lamented.
Nancy added that many of her colleagues fell pregnant due to the school closure in the last six months and even more may lose hope since school will only resume in April.
Fekira Santos said many school girls have been forced into marriage and others opted to marry due to the challenges they face at home.
She added that the ministry of education should have asked the opinion of students and parents regarding school reopening instead of deciding that schools will open for all classes in April.
Abraham Lomodi is a parent and pastor shared his opinion with us regarding the school reopening.
Pastor Abraham said this decision by the government is not fair at all because now if the candidates finish their examinations who will be in the candidate classes?
He encouraged those who remained home to continue revising despite the many challenges that they face.
“As parents let us encourage our children to continue revising at home. Many children have lost their way by involving into drug abuse due to closure of schools in the country. Many school girls got pregnant this is not good for our country,” the pastor added.
Late last month two United Nations agencies have welcomed the decision by the government to re-open schools in the country.
UNICEF and UNESCO said the reopening would happen in phases. Phase one included the candidate classes, Primary 8 and Senior 4.
Together with the Ministry of General Education and Instruction, UNICEF, UNESCO and the education partners have made a plan for a safe re-opening of schools in the country.
The plan included improved water provision to schools, repair of water Infrastructure, soap distribution, hand washing stations and sanitary kits.
The students and teachers would be provided with washable face Masks. Social mobilizers were to raise awareness on the re-opening of schools and encourage parents to send their children to school.
Despite that parent are not happy because many of their children have missed out attending lessons and especially the girl child has suffered severely since many got pregnant.