Unity and Determination
Yambio Community Constructs Classrooms and Supports Teachers at Ngbarago Primary School
In Yambio County of Western Equatoria State in South Sudan, a community is overcoming past challenges and taking ownership of its development. Christopher Ismail, a dedicated leader of the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) for Ngbarago Primary School, has helped mobilize the community to construct classrooms and support teachers, ultimately improving the quality of education for the students. The school, which opened in 2017, was initially just a few mango trees and some plastic sheets for classrooms.
As community elders, we mobilized ourselves. We called for a meeting and sat down to discuss the ways and strategies of how we could begin this school.
UNICEF, with the support of Global Partnership for Education (GPE), constructed an initial classroom and provided learning materials.
Over time, the community worked together to build additional classrooms, transforming the school into a thriving place of learning. Christopher explained the community's determination and resourcefulness.
We started getting motivated. We realized we were not alone; other communities were caring for their children and schools as well. So why not continue our efforts?
Christopher and the PTA have played a crucial role in supporting the school's growth. They've recruited volunteer teachers, mobilized funds from the community, and even built a store and office for teachers. "We invited the community, talked to them, and explained the situation. We knew the market rates, but what we could offer was limited. We just wanted them to invest in the future of their children here," he said, emphasizing the importance of strong community bonds and cohesion.
The PTA has also focused on increasing enrollment, particularly among children with disabilities and young girls who are pregnant or have given birth. Christopher shared the PTA's commitment to inclusivity:
We don't want anyone to feel left out. For those with disabilities, we always encourage the parents to send them to school, as they are still valuable members of our community.
The Ngbarago Primary School is now recognized for its academic progression. In just six years, it has ranked among the top 10 schools in the region four times in national examinations.
"We were among the best, with top performance among the top 10," said Christopher proudly. This accomplishment has motivated more community members to send their children to the school.
The story of the Ngbarago Primary School demonstrates the power of community collaboration and the importance of education in improving people's lives. Through the leadership of individuals like Christopher Ismail and the support of education partners and donors such as GPE, this community in Yambio is building a brighter future for their children and generations to come.
We are creating a lot of awareness and engaging the parents to explain the importance of sending their children to school.