Parents should send their daughters to school-GESS Leader

By Moses Gum Degur

Girls Education South Sudan Team Leader, Akuja Mading de Garang has urged parents to refrain from negative socio-cultural attitudes and send their daughters to school.

She made these remarks while show casing a first pioneering film created by South Sudanese girls on the International day of the girl child to raise awareness on the impacts of girl education in the country at Juba Girls Secondary school.

On Wednesday, South Sudan joined the rest of the world to commemorate the International Day of the girl child that is annually celebrated on the 11th October by girls who are powerful source of strength and creativity.

Speaking at the celebration, Akuja Mading de Garang urged parents to stop negative vices that undermine girls labelling them as not good to be in schools.

“We are today creating awareness to our communities to break barriers that prevent girls from accessing education. Girls are behind in terms of education and literacy. They are behind because of negative practices which state that girls should not be educated,” she said.

Akuja said she believes that educating girls is the best way to lift families and communities out of poverty and this will put South Sudan on the track of sustained development.

She said GESS will maintain its position to create awareness and support young girls in South Sudan to pursue their studies and become future leaders.

Akuja said a pioneering trio films created by South Sudanese girls produced by the UK aid funded Girls Education South Sudan programme was launched in New York as part of a lesson and a campaign to address key challenges hindering girl child education in the country.

She said the film is to create awareness to the public as it touches on themes of displacement, early marriage and pregnancy, financial poverty among other barriers which delay education for girls.

Akuja said that South Sudanese girls are progressing in education and literacy since most of them are able to compose poems and make films.

The young talented girls were inspired by GESS support and made a film entitle “Poni’s Journey”. This film will be screened at the flagship event “Girls Speak Out” at the United Nations in New York with the purpose to end negative cultures against girl child education.

“ Poni’s Journey, touches the theme of displacement and directly links into the objective of this year’s event to bring global attention to the challenges and opportunities girls face before, during and after crisis,”, Akuja said.

She further said that the ongoing conflict in South Sudan has had profound impact upon education of girls with most of them being subjected to negative socio-cultural attitudes towards their education.

Akuja pointed out that the girls’ personal experiences and challenges in accessing education served as an inspiration for the story, adding that film is a powerful medium to raise awareness to the community to highlight issues that South Sudanese girls face.

“With these challenges, we will continue to provide incentives to girls as motivation, engage communities to send their daughters to school and support local teachers with training, for children to have access to education daily”, she added.

Abul Monica, senior four student at Dr. John Garang Memorial in Juba said she is inspired by the support of GESS through cash transfer that enables girls to continue with studies.

She said education is good since it changes life, makes a person to meet different people and transforms members of the community into useful people.

Monica said she believes that education is the only tool to end poverty.

Daisy Nyanuer, senior one student at Future Secondary school in POC said that education make you meet the people you have never met before.

She said even though her education was disrupted by 2013 crisis, she will continue to do her best to achieve her goal.

Nyanuer said that studying in Protection of Civilian Camps (POC’s) is not easy since there are no enough teaching materials as well as poor learning environment.

“Life is not good in the POC, it is difficult. No support for your needs. Sometimes conflict may erupt with in the camp and this can disrupt studies”, she said.

Nyanuer said the reason she is still doing her best to meet her career of objectives is because of the support she has received from GESS and its partners.  GESS with support from UK government is providing capitation grants to schools for renovation and pay volunteer teachers as well as giving cash to girls to support their education.


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