I found nothing in marriage; I want to get back to school

Abiei Kelei Riak (Photo by Mandela Nelson Denis)

By Sheila Ponnie

With precision, 23 year old Abiei Kelei Riak who stays in Gudele Residential area in Juba, narrated to Juba Monitor Newspaper how she left a higher Institution of learning to get married.

“I want to go back to school because I realized that there is nothing meaningful in being married at an early age.  I want to go back and study. I shared with my husband about going back to learn but weather he likes it or not, I will go ahead with my choice to embark on my education,” Kelei said.

“At the age of 18, I was at the University of Juba in the field of Management and Accounting studies before I got married. My husband promised me several times that I will go back to school but it didn’t happen up to now,” she recalled.

“Every year my husband says I will resume school and it goes on and on just like that up to date I have never gone to school. Up to this time I have seen a lot of people working and if I need to work, they would ask me, ‘did you finish University?’ They are also asking for papers,” she narrated.

Kelei said that she feels jealous seeing her former school colleagues working and investing in their families.

“I want to go back to study so that I can invest in my dreams and also work towards a goal that can help my family,” she said.

She emphasised that women need to be educated so that they can also help their husbands.

“If women are educated, they can make the country a better place and can also share ideas together with the educated men,” she said.

She added that going back to school will enable one to achieve her dreams. “I am encouraging other young married women to resume studies. It is possible to become female President of a country if you’re educated,” she said.

Kelei said she informed her husband about her decision to go back to study but his response was not convincing.

“I have made my mind up I want to return to school again and nothing will stop me from re-joining school,” she emphasised.

She however said she is looking for scholarship from either the Government or her relatives to enable her achieve her dreams.

Akuja Mading de Garang, a team leader of Girls Education South Sudan (GESS) an initiative of the Ministry of General Education and Instructions said that there is no question about a school dropout returning to school.

“It is good for whoever got married and is willing to go back to school to do so and I’m glad to hear her story. Girls like her need support,” she said.

“Embassies that are sponsoring higher education should come to her rescue and I also advise her to search opportunities in the internet and if possible she should also go to Universities and speak to people in charge of financial assistances.” Akuja added.

Meanwhile Nicholas Jada, a high school teacher at Chinese Secondary School said it is not too late for Kelei to go back to school.

“It is not a problem because it is the policy of the Government of South Sudan that all must go to school and even though she is married, she still has the chance to study.” Jada said.

Keleia dvised young women like her to return to school tin order to develop the nation and support their families.

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