Hundreds of schoolgirls in NBG state have turned out at Aweil National Secondary school to mark the national girl child education day with calls to end early and force marriages.
According to the state ministry of Education, the day is celebrated every 7the of July in South Sudan but was reportedly delayed due to Independence Day preparation.
Valentino Achak Deng is the Minister of Education in the NBGs Government.
He said late Dr. John Garang Mabior declared the day to encourage the enrollment of girls to the schools in South Sudan.
Hoh: Achak stressed the need to end challenges facing enrollment in schools to complete their Education.
“It’s a right time for each of us to commit to educating children and mainly the girls who are left behind in Education. Enrolling girls to schools have been observed but retaining them at schools to continue their studies is now the challenge. Other schools lack teachers, and girls in those areas find it difficult to continue with Education. It’s a collective responsibility to promote girl-child education,” Achak said.
The Minister further urged parents to supports girls in Education with the hope of having a better future.
Some of the schoolgirls who spoke to Akol Yam 91 in Aweil said lack of moral and financial support is the major challenge facing the girls to complete their studies.
They said that inability to afford basic needs forces some girls to abandon schools and opt for marriage.
“Girls always have a lot of needs where some parents support while others don’t. That lead to our colleagues is dropping out of school.”
“There is no moral advice that encourages girls to continue instead; some parents always talk to you about marriage plans, which is also another challenge.”
“We although thank the teachers they are doing the roles of teachers and parents; they always encourage us to continue without studies for better future.”
Education Minister also urges the parents to send girls to schools at a young age to avoid being distracted from learning.
On 7 July 2015, National Girl Education Day in South Sudan, the combined enrolment at primary and secondary schools broke the 1M barrier for the first time, of which 417,116 were girls.