Kapoeta schools register low turnout of learners as second term begins

Schools in greater Kapoeta are reportedly registering a low turnout of children returning to class after the first term holidays.

According to Eastern Equatoria state Minister of Education, Sammy Aperengole, only a handful of children have reported back to schools since Monday.

Schools reopened for the second term this week after a short break.

The Minister said he conducted an assessment on schools reopening and found less number of learners, while other schools have remained closed.

Mr. Aperengole expressed disappointment over the turnout of learners. He was speaking in Kapoeta while launching the Primary Teachers Training workshop organized by his ministry and ADRA South Sudan organization on Tuesday.

“We can maybe say outside the town there are reasons, but within the town…what is the problem? Start mobilization children to come to school,” he told the teachers.

Aperengole also said he was dismayed by the absence of teachers in some schools.

“Since January up to June, the salaries for the teachers were sent, [but] I don’t see those teachers, where are they? I am not happy,” he stated.

Lotorit Charles,  the Acting County Education Director in Kapoeta South said the low turn out of learners has been a recurrent issue.

“This is one of things were normally encounter here. We have teachers, but learners are not present in these schools,” he disclosed.

Peter Adum Deng, the Director General at the National Ministry of General Education called for collective efforts to address issues affecting school enrolment and retention in Eastern Equatoria state.

“I went to Lafon and Namurnyang Counties and I found that they have a big primary school but goats are the ones hanging around the school compound. It is not an individual duty, it needs the collective effort of all intellectuals of Eastern Equatoria state – in particular Kapoeta,” he said.

Mr. Adum encouraged the local communities to prioritize education by sending their children to schools.