Joice - PTA Member, Terekeka, CES
As a member of the Terekeka Primary School Parents and Teachers Association (PTA) in Central Equatoria state (CES) in South Sudan, Joice, 35, had long felt that the community and local parents should be making greater efforts to ensure more primary-level children were attending regular classes. As a widow and mother of eight, Joice understands the complexities of educating the young, especially girls, in South Sudan and felt that their PTA group had long been ill-equipped to address or resolve these issues.
“As a member of the PTA and of this community, I would often see young children loitering around the village. As a PTA group, we didn’t really know how to mobilize ourselves, how to work together to lobby parents, tribal leaders, or government to start to address these fundamental problems.”
In October 2015, RtL provided the Terekeka Primary School PTA with training on how to mobilize themselves and their school. The training also focused on how to work together, with teachers, parents, and with government structures to improve education opportunities children in their community. The program has changed Joice’s - and her fellow PTA members - entire attitude. They have come to understand the magnitude of the responsibility they hold within the community and they have now realize that they have the capacity to ensure positive change.
“If I see a child in the street I will immediately find out who the parents are and ensure that they are taken to the tribal chief to explain why their child is not in school. ” she says. “So many parents did not even know that the government schools are free! We are now working closely with the tribal leaders, parents and the school to ensure the local children have access to the education they need and deserve.”
RtL, funded by USAID and implemented by Winrock International in partnership with FHI 360 and Plan International USA, aims to reach 388 PTAs across South Sudan with capacity building training in 2016. This training will enable communities to advocate for improved education and attendance in their school communities.
We want to thank you for your continued support which enables us to expand our impact in each school community we enter in South Sudan!
Schoolgirls pose for a picture at school in CES