Peacekeepers serving with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan have renovated a primary school in Bor.
The engineers have rebuilt classrooms to accommodate up to 900 pupils, repaired roofs and broken tiles and given internal and external walls a new look. As part of the project, they also handed over blackboards, desks, exercise books and shoes.
“They have helped us improve our school. This will encourage many of us who left this area during the fighting to come back,” said Achol Ateny Garang, one of the pupils attending the Anyidi school.
“Children are the future of South Sudan. It would be good if we can create more opportunities and better conditions for education,” said the South Korean commander of the contributing engineers, Colonel Woen Seong.
Head teacher Edward Deng Machar believes that the helping hand offered by UN peacekeepers goes a long way to improve the school’s previously precarious conditions.
“The donation [of school material] motivates us and increases the emphasis on education, and that will benefit the entire community,” said Headteacher Edward Deng Machar.
Primary school education is compulsory in South Sudan, yet it is estimated that more than two million of the country’s children are out of school. Early and forced marriages of girls is one important and persistent factor undermining the education system in general and school attendance in pastoralist communities in particular.