Schools in Yei State lack teachers
By Rose Keji Benjamin (Yei)
Schools in Yei River State are at the verge of collapse due to lack of teachers coupled with poor learning conditions, one of the teachers has revealed.
During a visit to Yei by a team of Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) officials and journalists last week, the head teacher of Excel Academy, Henry Chandiga said few teachers remained in the state, with one teacher teaching three schools a day.
“The teachers run to the neighbouring countries due to the conflict and fear of insecurity in the Yei River state,” Mr. Chandiga said.
He said schools in Yei lack female teachers as well who are supposed to encourage the girls to continue with education. “We face challenges because of girls dropping out of school as a result of early pregnancy due to lack of counseling for the girls.”
“We face problems of learning facilities like texts books, libraries and inadequate teachers. The state ministry of education said that we should share teachers,” Mr. Chandiga added.
Mr. Chandiga explained that sometimes when students are in class and they hear sounds of guns, they panic and run away from classes that phenomenon that he said affects learning in the state. He further said the economic situation in Yei River State has also affected the education sector because some of the students struggle on their own to go to school and produce food.
The head teacher lamented that hunger in the state is one of the factors that negatively affect education, but said the World Food Programme (WFP) has introduced a feeding programme, which he said is now improving the learning environment for school children.
With the difficult situation being experienced, Mr. Chandiga said, they have registered 275 students in senior four who will sit for this year’s secondary school examinations. He appreciated the State Ministry of Education and the World Food Programme for supporting education.
However, he urged WFP to improve the quality of feeding because schools only receive sorghum without beans. Mr. Chandiga also appreciated the government for restoring peace and security in the state which has enabled education to continue.
Rihanna Keji, a pupil at Emmanuel Primary and Nursery School said their primary eight class does not have a science teacher. She revealed that sometimes they go with two or three lesions per day.
Miss. Keji said they appreciate the support being given by Girls’ Education South Sudan (GESS) giving them cash transfers to keep girls in school. She urged the government to support and encourage girl’s education in Yei River State.
Isaac Bildale Taban, a Health Teacher at Emmanuel Primary School said there were many pupils in the school before the conflict erupted, but due to the crisis, the number of school children in Yei has reduced. He appealed to WFP to increase and improve the feeding programme to enable schools continue for the remaining students who are still studying in Yei.