Back to school campaign & Home based learning

This project OPRD is implementing in partnership with UNICEF and SCI-SIDA

On SCI-SIDA project

Organization for Peace, Relief and Development (OPRD) is implementing the “support for education and successful transitions among vulnerable children in South Sudan project” in Kapoeta East County-Eastern Equatoria State – South Sudan in partnership with Save the Children International and the Ministry of Education and General Instruction (MoGEI) and support from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA). OPRD works with 5 target schools in this project in a bid to respond to the challenges that the rural communities face in a bid to achieve quality education. As schools remain closed and formal learning in the designated places is prohibited due to the Coronavirus pandemic, promotion of learning still remains our biggest concern as partners implementing education programmes across the region yet we keep in mind the ultimate need to protect our children and the teachers and the communities around to stay safe by following the World Health Organization until the situation normalizes and normal learning resumes.

Poor roads caused by heavy rains which rendered some project areas inaccessible due to muddy spots that cannot be crossed by our cars and flooding of rivers in Kapoeta East. This has caused Lotimor where one of the target schools is located to completely remain inaccessible. In addition, areas like Mogos also have a very poor road network which roads are sometimes inaccessible whenever it rains that side. This has forced us to concentrate on other accessible project areas.

OPRD continues to take part in the fight against the Novel coronavirus since its outbreak in South Sudan. Sensitization of communities on COVID-19 remains our role as humanitarian actors in a bid to safeguard the ignorant communities from this invisible enemy of humanity. Through our community led entities like the PTAs, SMCs, Project Management Committees (PMCs) of our General Food Distribution Project and other community leaders to help pass the message of COVID-19 to the masses.

Project goal is to ensure; provision of continued access to protective, quality and equitable education services for boys and girls.

The objective being: South Sudanese children have increased and continued access to protective, quality and equitable education services through formal and non-formal streams.

By UNICEF

In partnership with UNICEF OPRD is stepping forward to Increase access to Education among the Pastoralists Communities in Kapoeta North, South and East Counties.

So far the following has been achieved:

Access to learning opportunities

Out-of-school children, IDP and host community children, adolescents/youth, aged 3-18 years, have increased access to safe and protective learning opportunities within the formal and non-formal education systems.

OPRD has built six 2 stance gender segregated toilets and 5 stores cum kitchens in the eastern Equatoria.

5 Kitchens have been constructed in the project, one set of kitchen and store in each of these schools; Lotimor primary school, Nanyangachor primary school, Nachilagur Primary School, Karokomuge primary school and

Ngauro Primary School

All the targeted latrines have been sunk and constructed to the specifications agreed on the PD

For the past period the following are the Challenges faced

By teachers

Limited commitment from some of the teachers. They devote less time to instruct and engage learners i.e. some of the teachers do not turn up for afternoon sessions.

  • Rains continue to disrupt the turn up of teachers leaving far away from the school premises. For example, some teachers were blocked by Loyoro river from accessing Kalacha primary school where they teach from.
  • Moving long distances from village to village to access learners is quite tedious for the teachers since they move on foot.
  • Inadequate number of text books and story books to be shared by the overwhelming number of learners. 
  • Some teachers are complaining that they lack food as they get hungry trying to look for learners and engage them in the HBS/Learning
  • Teachers lack marker pens, pens and books to facilitate teaching.

By learners:

  • Limited scholastic materials such as exercise books, pens and pencils.
  • Some learners who are baby sitters at home are missing out on the HBS/L classes due to their engagement in taking care of their young siblings.
  • Some parents call back their children during HBS/L sessions which interfere with their knowledge inflow through sending them to pick some items from neighbours and some shops.
  • Learners are finding it difficult to attend lessons orally without chalk boards and writing materials for practice. Lack of writing materials.
  • Learner’s lack learning materials and learning space is not conducive to both learners and teachers.
  • No solar to charge the systems/ amplifiers
  • Learners go and look after cattle while others look after their young siblings.
  • Learners need uniforms for identification, books and pens.

N/B: Although these challenges are there, the learning continues.

Implementing agency

The insecurity has posted a serious threat coupled with floods bad roads and challenges remoteness of the region.

Lessons Learned:

In some schools, Home Based Learning program makes the learners very free to express themselves as there is no fear shown by learners since they conduct learning in the open.

Some parents have adopted the HBL and are encouraging their kids to attend the lessons.

Alarming issues to address

The community is full of cattle raids and banditry and most of the youths have forgone schools and given priority to cattle warriors where they do all to protect their livestock instead of schools.

The place is hunger stricken and there is need for a holistic food programme to see the youths face in schools.

Co-joined with other activities there is need for immediate support by donors to OPRD and other humanitarian aids to support the education activities in the area.

Teachers are not protected and covid19 is here ravening deadly, learners too are not safe. OPRD has done a proposal to curb the spread of covid19 by tackling misinformation, awareness campaign and distribute masks and installation of hand wash facilities to protect the learners and teachers. Schools are supposed to resume possibly in January but safety desks are not in place, hence a need to launch this programme too.

We therefore look forward to donors in this line to step forward and support our course of action. The proposed project will cost around $6.5M and is supposed to run for 12 months.  

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