Access to Safe Learning and Retention Increase School Enrolment in South Sudan

Thursday 18 May 2023

Kapoeta, South Sudan - Bishop Sisto Mazzoldi,  a faith-based primary school in Kapoeta South, Eastern Equatoria State, South Sudan is one of the five schools supported by Save the Children through funding from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).

One of the Classrooms of the newly Constructed TLS in Kapoeta

Before, the school has one unrepaired administrative block with two classrooms, a staff room and a head teacher’s office. The previous poor structure of the school is made out of local materials with limited classrooms and low enrolment of children. Before construction, the enrolment was 649 (308 girls & 341 boys).

Save the Childrenconstructed four (4) stances of Temporary learning spaces. Two stances in March 2020 and additional two stances in January 2022, making a total of eight (8) classrooms, constructed two stances of disaggregated ventilated improved pit latrines (VIP latrines) in March 2020 and also renovated the only permanent block that’s in the school in the same year.After the improvement of the school structure and construction of additional classrooms, the school enrolment increased from 649 to 1480 (640 boys & 840 girls).

“Before the intervention of Save the Children - SIDA project, we lacked learning spaces and the classes made out of reeds (local material) were leaking badly during rainy days and the enrolment was 649 (308 girls & 341 boys) but after the intervention, Temporary Learning Spaces (TLS) were constructed making enrolment to increased also up to 1480 (640 boys & 840 girls”,

“We would like to extend our gratitude to Save the Children - SIDA project for supporting us for all these times. Most of the services provided by Save the Children in this school have been what the school really needed. SIDA project has led to the growth of the school up to P.8 level. This is a great achievement especially for a faith-based organization in Kapoeta South County. We hope that this kind of support will continue and also extended to other schools in the villages so that we can eradicate illiteracy from our communities”, said Odiya, teacher Bishop Sisto Mazzoldi,  a faith-based primary school.

Save the Children also provided scholastic materials to the children and learning kits to the teachers. This lifted the burden of buying exercise books and other scholastic materials from parents of this pupils. Adolescent girls received dignity kits and with the construction of gender disaggregated VIP latrines, girls don’t miss class due to menstrual related issues anymore.

“I appreciate Save the Children so much for bringing us SIDA project in our school. Now girls have dignity kits available, we also have learner kits to support our education. Most importantly, we girls do come to school every day even during our menstruation period without fear, thank you”, a learner in P.7

Before, there was high rate of teacher’s turnover because the school could not pay sufficient salaries. Save the Children provided to the volunteer teachers incentives of 40$ per month to retain them. The incentives from Save the Children could cater for the basic needs of the volunteer teachers. Teachers in the school received trainings on inclusive teaching pedagogy, classroom management/control, lesson development and scheming to improve the quality of lesson delivery.

“The incentives we had could not motivate qualified teachers to remain in the teaching profession. That led to high turnover of qualified teachers as they seek for greener pastures and the school often end up employing even secondary school dropouts but with the intervention of [Save the Children International] SIDA project, we were able to get and maintain qualified teachers. The construction of temporary learning spaces and distribution of learners’ kits attracted many children to enrol with us hence increase in enrolment of the pupils in the school making the school to attain full primary cycle from p1-p8”,  Odiya, 26, teacher .

This Support for Education and Successful Transitions among vulnerable children project in South Sudan started in October 2019 up to December 2022. The project is implemented in Eastern Equatoria (Kapoeta East, North, South and Magwi counties) and Jonglei state (Bor South and Eastern counties). The project supports 27 primary schools, 10 Youth Drop-in centres and 10 ALP centres across five counties in the two states. Through the project, “South Sudanese children have increased and continued access to protective, quality and equitable education services through formal and non-formal streams”.

Story Written By: William Afani Paul/Save the Children

Edited By: Tito Justin/Save the Children