Recognition in Piantok

Piantok Primary school got a recognition award for their outstanding service delivery in school.

By Riak Madut- Education Project Manager

Pupils sat listening attentively.
Pupils at Piantok sat and listened attentively to the appreciation speech delivery by many speakers

On 16th March 2018, the executive Director for CARD Andrew Apiny Macham, the representative from the State Ministry of Education-Director for planning Mr. Simon P. Ndogo and Piantok Primary school Head master Mr. Angelo Ngor participated in a Radio Talk Show at Voice of Hope Radio at Wau Cathedral. During the radio show they explained to the public what made Piantok Primary school to be qualified, given an award and recognition in the state. The three guests did mention that Piantok primary school’s teachers and PTA were very active. It was also explained that education cluster actors want to recognise their efforts for doing tremendous work to encourage school teachers to go the extra mile and to challenge other schools which are very inactive to be more active. The education clusters did this in order to create competition among the head teachers in different schools given the fact that children will benefit out of this move.

The selection of Piantok Primary School to be given their award was done by different education partner organisations, among them were UNICEF, State Ministry of Education Science and Technology, CARD, Peace Corps, War Child Canada, Meltser International and WFP after their rapid assessment done in 2017- 2018 in different schools.

Teachers receive gifts.
Teachers were given teachers bags for their great work

Each organisation was given an opportunity to mention the best school in the state that did very well in terms of school management and commitment. However, the majority of education cluster partners selected Piantok Primary School as the best school.

CARD was then, selected by the education partners to organise an appreciation ceremony in collaboration with UNICEF, the State Ministry of Education Science and Technology Wau- South Sudan and to  give an award to Piantok Primary school in recognition of the Teachers and PTA for their tremendous effort and commitment in developing the school and service delivery.

The selection criteria were based on access to information, school resources management, compliance with South Sudan school calendar and many others. Piantok primary school was found to have met most of the criterion set forth by education actors. There was proper management of school resources given to Piantok primary school by different actors in the state, teachers and PTA. Commitment was also observed and the school calendar was seen being observed by Piantok compared to the other schools.

Another observation noticed was the high enrolment of pupils particularly girls, Piantok recorded the highest number of girls in school. Also taking into account the issue of information sharing, Education partners are always frustrated in accessing school information, it’s difficult to get accurate information but with Piantok Primary school whenever education actors come to school they get all information they required and that was also taken into account.

Mismanagement of school resources has been observed by education partners as one of the major challenges in various schools. Learning materials when given to any schools in big quantity may later on be seen being sold in the market the following day. This behaviour has frustrated most education partners as to why thing are not reaching the target beneficiaries. Many pupils were interviewed by different education actors in Piantok Primary school but there was no report from them lacking learning materials while in other schools more pupils are crying for learning materials.

Simon Ndogo Director for Planning (Wau State ministry of education gave speech) during function
Simon Ndogo Director for Planning (Wau State ministry of education gave speech) during function

During the award ceremony  Simon Paul Ndogo Director for Planning said, this award and recognition didn’t mean that Piantok Primary school had reached the peak of success, they still have a long way to go. They must do more this time so that other schools can emulate this kind of spirit of hard working. Executive Director for CARD Andrew Apiny Macham added that, Piantok primary school shouldn’t think that the school has reached the Promised Land, but there are still a lot of work to be done so as to make this school the best school in the state. He added that some other schools were calling them on the studio of Voice of Hope during the Radio Talk Show saying that in the coming year of 2019 Piantok primary school will be overtaken. He urged the school teachers and PTA members not to sleep but to continue with that kind of spirit. He assured them that it’s the only way South Sudanese will bring sustainable peace and development in the country”.

Working With Unicef to Distribute Teaching Materials

On 12-15th February 2018 CARD in partnership with UNICEF distributed Students’ and teachers’ kits and School in-boxes in various schools around Wau.

By Riak Madut- Education Project Manager

Pupils were very excited during learning materials distribution
Pupils were very excited during learning materials distribution

The distribution of learning materials to vulnerable children came as result of the parents’ failure to afford to pay for their children’s learning requirements e.g. Exercise books, pens and etc among schools received were Masna Talip, Bilpam, Piantok. Adet, Alel chok, Marial Ajieth nad New Sites primary schools

Due to the economic crisis which has hit the country so badly to the point of buying exercise book became so difficult to most of the learners, as per now the cost of one exercise book in Wau ranges from 300 to 400 South Sudanese Pounds which make it too difficult for IDPs children to purchase and vulnerable marginalised community to afford. A part from the conditions they are in; what is even worse is, there are no exercise books in the market.  One PTA member from Masna Talip IDP primary school said, Pinyi Akuar,

“At first the biggest challenge was school tuition fees, it was the obstacle that impeded our children’s school enrolment, but now the conditions at the issue of writing material has made everything worse than ever before, some IDPs parents who couldn’t afford to pay for their own school supplies. This includes pencils and books, as well as uniforms or appropriate clothing and shoes which has tripled the increment of children dropping out from schools among children.”

“Because most of the pupil’s parents are vulnerable, having lost their usual source of income, tend to have great difficulties in covering their children’s education requirement”.

Exercise books are distributed
PTA chairperson Pinyi was very happy during exercise book distribution in school

The Masna Talip primary case is the same across the countrywide in many schools that were assessed by CARD and UNICEF, the lack of exercises and text books as well as the “decent” clothing and sanitary supplies has caused significant school absenteeism among girls, especially among adolescents. Whereas  schools which were established by communities whatsoever; schools that had been established  were found  to lack the most basic supplies, such as blackboards, chalk, school benches, books, and even roofs.

Family’s poverty has driven many adolescent girls out of schools and into prostitution where they are at risk of trafficking. CARD in partnership with UNICEF is responding to this situation by supporting vulnerable children with writing materials to improve education systems and encourage children to learn.

Teacher Training in Masna Talip IDPs Primary school Wau.

On 5th February 2108 Christian Action for Relief and Development (CARD) conducted 3 days of teacher training in Masna Talip IDPs Primary school Wau.

By Riak Madut- Education Project Manager

Lucy Lomodong UNICEF Education Specialist at the Left to Executive Director Andrew Apiny, after training in Masna primary school
Lucy Lomodong UNICEF Education Specialist at the Left to Executive Director Andrew Apiny, after training in Masna primary school

The decades of civil war has left schools physical infrastructures in bad shape, the condition have been worsened by the ongoing conflict in the country. It’s estimated that over 1 Million children  lack access to quality education in South Sudan because of ongoing conflict substantial numbers are internally displaced for these children not only is their educational development denied but also they are deprived of other important benefits as well. On the other hand, most of the IDPs teachers who are providing teaching, their standards are very low; most of them have only completed Primary School education and only 43.7% have had any teachers training.

Teachers were awarded certificates of attendance
Teachers were awarded certificates of attendance

It’s from this background that CARD conducted induction training for the teachers in order to ensure that IDPs volunteer teachers have the necessary information, knowledge or skills, techniques and methodologies in teaching to provide support and lifesaving information to emergency affected learners.

The capacity building was targeting IDPs teachers and PTAs in order to enhance their capacity

To address some of the critical protection principles and psycho-social support practices, child protection, child friendly space and other needs of the children

Too often, in war torn country education is treated as a secondary need, to be addressed only once conflicts have subsided, is when people will think of children’s education. Yet, conflicts and emergencies can go on for years or even decades, leaving many children to grow up without education as well as deprived of the protection and support that going to school can provide.

CARD in collaboration with UNICEF paid much attention to understanding and overcoming the barriers that not only IDPs children but also all the children who frequently face challenges in accessing their right to education.

Teacher training at Masna
Picture showing interactive facilitation during teachers training at Masna primary school.

In most cases; the IDPS Collective sites is where there is a massive demand for basic education among the young children who have been forced to fled away from their original homes to Camps due to ongoing conflict in the country.

The General Director for quality promotion and Innovation in the state Ministry of Education-Wau expressed an appreciation to CARD for the tremendous work the organization did in collected sites: “We the state ministry of education are very happy for this kind of training, the training will help the teachers offer quality education,” he said. In another development, Mrs.Lucy Kithoi Lomodong the Education Specialist-UNICEF also acknowledged that CARD has done great job such as renovating the schools, provision of school benches, and distribution of learning materials. Kithoi also promised that UNICEF will channel more funding to CARD in order to continue to support and improve school physical infrastructure not only in Mansa but also in Jur River County, Wau and beyond or particularly to the displaced children out of school.

CARD Executive Director Andrew Apiny Macham appreciated UNICEF for the support UNICEF has given to CARD since last year 2017 to support IDPs schools in the collected sites, he added that, “The only thing that south Sudan can do to bring sustainable peace and live transformation is education. Education is the powerful tool in which I called upon all teachers and parents, government to commit ourselves to invest our resources, times and energies in training and teaching of our children for better future and peaceful nation where everyone want to live”.