By Manas James
School children in Uror County of Jonglei State are learning under trees amidst a lack of access to scholastic materials and unconducive environment.
In an interview with No. 1 Citizen Daily Newspaper yesterday, several pupils said they are being taught under trees and that they lack textbooks and stationeries.
One 17-year-old pupil, Nyabang Mayen, said the situation is challenging and has appealed for aid.
“One of the problems is that classes are not enough. Those of us in lower classes receive lessons under trees and are asked to go homes when it rains,” she said,
She added that “We also lack school uniforms and textbooks. For us females, we have an extra problem of a lack of sanitary pads.”
Another pupil, Kuol Manyiel, said they feel that they have been neglected and earnestly pleaded that their plight be looked into.
“There is no uniform, no food and even a potable water source. This situation is really challenging,” he said.
“Even scholastic materials like pens, exercise books, and textbooks are lacking. We want our government to see this suffering and come to our aid,” the learn stressed.
Five years of civil war in the country saw closure and destruction of several schools in Uror County.
Majority of primary and secondary schools there only reopened in 2018 following the signing of a deal that ended the conflict.
Mun Jool, the principal of Yuai Primary School, pupils are not the only one facing challenges but teachers as well and that since 2018 it has always been a struggle to keep pupils engaged.
“We can’t just refuse to teach because of challenges but we have to,” he stressed.
“As teachers, we don’t have enough school learning materials like registration books, chalks, and black boards. Since, we reopen last month for this academic year, we are just struggling,” he noted.
Hoaw Gatkuoth Thou, the county education director, admitted that Uror education sector is overwhelmed with challenges and that it need engagement of aid agencies as the county lacks resources.
According to Article 29 (1) of the country’s transitional constitution: “Education is a right for every citizen and all levels of government shall provide access to education without discrimination as to religion, race, ethnicity, health status including HIV/AIDS, gender or disability.