1200 pupils in one Sudan school
Posted by David Gough on Tue, 02 Oct 2012 | 0 comments | Bookmark:
Approximately 18 months ago there was great concern about the overcrowding and poor conditions at Immanuel Model Primary School, Yei Diocese. Immanuel Model was one of the the first schools to be built in South Sudan with support from CMS Ireland and Link Parishes. In May 2011, the number of enrolled students in this one-stream Primary School was 739. The P4 class had 128 children in it, often sitting 4 or 5 to a desk. The average class size was an unbelievable 105 pupils. Despite this overcrowding, the high quality of the teaching staff meant that the school was top in the Government’s Education Performance Tables for the previous four years.
Initially CMS Ireland were able to provide a smalll amount of money to enable some initial refurbishment work to commence on the three worst classrooms. As the year progressed, up to and after the elections, more and more families fled from the north of Sudan – Khartoum, Malakal, Wau and Juba – and flocked to the safety of Yei. As they searched for education for their children, the school numbers continued to increase – rising to 750 in September and to 810 by the end of December 2011.
If you’re interested in supporting CMS Ireland’s education programmes in South Sudan or specifically sponsoring teacher training, I’d love to hear from you. You can contact me via the Belfast office.
During this period CMS Ireland applied for some additional funding from one of its international donors, which was granted on the condition that the construction was completed by Christmas. In October 2011, work began to refurbish two more classrooms and to construct eight new classrooms and a school library. The team completed the task by the due date and the new classrooms were ready for a two-stream entry in January 2012. In total in 2011, CMS Ireland expended approximately £160,000 on the redevelopment of Immanuel Model Primary School, ending the year having spent 100% of the amount granted.
In the last month CMS ireland has just completed one further improvement at the school by providing the funding to drill a borehole. This was successfully completed a week ago! School numbers have continued to rise with the current total sitting at 1200 pupils, so this much-needed addition was just in time.
The situation with overcrowding is typical of many Primary Schools in Yei and indeed South Sudan due to the influx of returnees and refugees. One Primary School in Maridi, for example, has 970 pupils and many Primary Schools are recording enrolled pupil numbers of over 1000! There is also a significant shortage of trained teachers, books and teaching materials and one of the other Education programmes CMS Ireland and Link Parishes have been supporting is sponsoring a student at Yei Teacher Training College on a two-year teacher training course.