Open the school gates!
Every child has the right to learn and grow, even in a pandemic
Why reopening of schools is the only way forward
As we enter the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, no effort should be spared to re-open schools in South Sudan and to keep them open.
While there is overwhelming evidence saying schools are not the main drivers of the pandemic, the evidence of the negative impact of the school closure is accumulating every day- putting children's learning, safety, physical and mental health at risk.
UNICEF is fully supportive of a general re-opening of the schools on 5 April 2021 as announced by the Ministry of General Education and Instruction.
UNICEF supported the administration of the exam
In October 2020, all candidate classes, meaning Primary 8 and Senior 4 reopened, as their final exams were scheduled for early 2021. The youth were happy about being back and learning again and the primary 8 students were able to sit their exams.
Masks, handwashing and keeping a distance
Listen to how enriching it was for these candidate students to have their education back on track. The value of being in the classroom is unmatched. Let’s re-open schools and keep them open.
Keen on learning
“Thank God I’m back. With the resumption of school, I can start chasing my dreams again.”
Mary Biale Daniel (16)
“It is great to be back, I’m learning again and I can discuss with my peers which is super.”
Simon Leka Lino (15)
Reopening schools is fighting for girls’ education
South Sudan has no female students to spare. More girls than boys were out of school before the pandemic hit due to traditional views and believes and harmful cultural practices such as child marriage.
Girls are disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 closure of schools. Numerous reports on girls being married off early end teen pregnancies tell the sad story of girls who will most likely never return to school. Reopening the schools can prevent more girls from dropping out.
Nothing can replace face-to-face interaction in the classroom. After a year out of school due to COVID-19, the students are missing their teachers.
Check out what Margaret, Miakol, Sarah and Martha are missing about their favourite teacher.
A lifeline through the waves
To mitigate some of the effects of the school closure, UNICEF together with education partners launched a distant learning programme through radio. Over 1.5 million children across South Sudan has benefitted from the programme.
Through the programme, which is aired twice a day, children stay engaged and keep learning which is important for their academic performance. It is also a way of engaging children at home, keeping them away from harmful distractions such as abuse of substances, crime and joining gangs.