Orphans in Torit miss radio learning program

By Kabaka Quintous Leone

Over 300 orphans staying at Moti Orphanage located 4.5 kilometers south of Torit town said they are not aware of the Interactive Radio Learning Programme due to lack of radios.

In March this year, South Sudan government imposed a lockdown on schools, churches and other institutions to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

To help students continue with their learning despite Covid-19, radio Miraya which is operated by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan in May began broadcasting lessons in support of the remote leaning initiative developed by the Ministry of General Education and UNICEF.

Despite such efforts, majority of learners are not accessing the lessons due to lack of resources in their homes.

Hope for South Sudan, an orphanage school in Torit hosting over 350 learners in their compound are among those not benefiting from the school learning program.

The head teacher Mr. Lolik Anthony told Juba Monitor that his pupils are not even aware about the radio learning program.

Mr. Anthony appeals to the government to give some radios to the orphanage centre for the learners to join their colleagues all over the country.

“We don’t have radios here and our pupils are not even hearing anything about that program, we really need to contact the right people to help us, this will affect if others can access but we cannot access, we should have been like others to have access to that program,” he said.

“My appeal to the government is that they should supply us with some radios at least 4 to 5 because we have a large number here, we could group them so that they could access”, he appeals

Mr. Loboi clement is the Torit county education director.

Clement confirmed that the radio learning program since the launching is ongoing in Radio Miraya but said parents should ensure they help their children access the need.

Mr. Clement said the county administration has no capacity to provide radios for learners.

“These program is continuing on Radio Miraya, we have tried our level best to talk with some partners to help the children but we could not get, we don’t have anything to support as a government,” said Clement.

According to the official “What we can do is that in case they seek clarification on certain subjects, we encourage them to visit our office.”

Clement said all subjects continue normally.

The acting director general in the state ministry of education Mr. Odumtulla Hillary Okumu agrees the radio learning program is not being accessed by all due to lack of radios.

The academician believes only partners could support in terms of providing radios but that the ministry has no capacity.

“Yes, we know the program is there but is not being accessed by all learners due to lack of resources, it could have been the partners to help but at the moment no,” he said.

Meanwhile a member of parliament at eastern Equatoria state assembly Angela Ajana Pio reiterates the need to support Moti Orphanage.

According to Ajana, the state parliament has not been reconstituted to discuss such challenges facing children amidst Covid-19.

“This orphans need support, really we need to support them. Right now, the parliament is not reconstituted, these are genuine issues we could discuss so that they can be helped,” says the law maker.

The radio learning initiative is planned to run for six months, depending on the spread of Covid-19 in South Sudan.

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