Over 215,000 girls to receives cash transfer this week
By Kidega Livingstone
At least 215,000 girls across the country will this week start receiving cash transfers from Girls’ Education South Sudan (GESS), the team leader said yesterday.
The money that comes from the UK aid is targeting girls from Primary Five to Senior Four (P5-S4) and each girl will receive 2,900 South Sudanese Pounds every year to keep them in school.
Speaking during the launch at St. Kizito Primary school in Munuki yesterday, Girls Education South Sudan Team Leader, Akuja Mading de Garang said the grant is to encourage girls to go to schools and finish secondary level. She said this came following high rate of school dropout among the girls.
“I am delighted that more pupils are continuing their education for longer and especially that a record of 250,000 girls are enrolled in Primary Five to Senior Four but there is much more to do to make sure that every girl can go to secondary school,” said Garang. “This is the fourth year of the UK aid support for Girls’ Education in South Sudan cash transfers, In 2017 GESS will provide 2,900 South Sudanese Pound to each validated school girl enrolled in and regularly attending school from Primary Five through to secondary four,” she added.
She said over 2,000 schools are benefitting from the grant. And that the Ministry of General Education and GESS wanted to see that over 3,600 schools benefit from the grant countrywide.
At the same function, the Undersecretary Ministry of General Education and Instruction, Michael Lopuke, encouraged the girls, schools and communities to take the process seriously.
“If you are a parent of a daughter in Primary Five to Senior Four, make sure she is attending regularly, make sure she has her cash transfers enrolment form with her and make sure you witness her getting her money ,” said Lopuke.
He warned that there are some teachers in States and Counties who wanted to use the process of paying the girls for wrong purposes, saying the ministry will “punish those found putting their hand in that money.”
“I want to make it clear that Ministry of General Education and Instruction has zero tolerance for fraud and corruption and will press for serious penalties for any attempts to dishonest access, diversion or misuse of these funds,” he said.
James Wani, a parent welcomed the programme, saying it has helped and saved parents from paying huge money for school fees and buying scholastic materials for their girls. He said the programme should continue as the country has been affected by crisis.
However, Viola Kajogo, a primary seven pupil benefitting from the grant said the money will not be enough for buying what they needed for a year.
“It is good we are going to receive the money but it is not enough as prices are hiked in the market,” she said. “Now even price for pads has increased including other things needed for us girls,” she said.
The enrolment and attendance data collected by SAMS shows improvement in girls’ enrolment due to the impacts of cash transfers.
The gender gap between girls and boys is narrower than ever countrywide; girls now make up a record of 44.5 percent of pupils, according to the SAMS report.