[Yei, South Sudan, TCT] South Sudan Education stakeholders are encouraged to heavily invest in girls’ education, as Yei Girls Boarding Senior Secondary School emerged the best school in the state, earning top scores at the 2015 South Sudan Certficates of Secondary Exams in Yei River state.
The performance of Yei Girls Boarding secondary school, “sends a very strong signal to parents who undermine young girls’ education”, said Jacob Aligo Lo-Ladu, acting Minister of Education, Gender, Child and Social Welfare.
“When we invest in girls’ education, it is the same as investing in our boys,” said Aligo, while calling for equal treatment of boys and girls in education matters. He congratulated Yei Girls Boarding Secondary School, which emerged as the best school in the state.
The results indicated that, out of 2,796 candidates who took the exam in the last year, 1,848 passed (66%) while 948 failed (44%). Of those who passed, 1,955 were boys (70%) and 841 were girls (30%).
Yei Girls Boarding secondary school had 69 candidates who sat– they all passed and got 100% while number ten is Ebenezer secondary school, they had 75 candidates who sat, 64 passed constituting 85.3%.
The top 10 performing schools were: Yei Girls Boarding, the only government boarding school for girls in Yei, followed by Kajokeji High School, Kajokeji Secondary, Amoju Girls, St Paul, Comboni comprehensive, EPC Nehemiah orphanage, Loka, Rash, Lire and Ebenezer secondary schools.
“When we invest in girls’ education, it is the same as when we are investing in our boys”, said Aligo during the declaration at the State Secretariat, calling for equal treatment of boys’ and girls’ in educational matters.
Betty Minala, acting Head Girl of Yei Girls Boarding Secondary school, said the results give hope for more girls to get an education.
“I’m very happy with these results”, said Minala, adding “despite the fact that there was alot of insecurity, the students did not give up until they achieved what they wanted”.
Minala said the results remind education stakeholders to now refocus efforts to bring more girls to school and end the misconception that boys perform better than girls.
“I also want to urge our parents to continue supporting young girls’ education. This time girls can do better than boys. It is high time we take the children to school because they will be the future of this nation” she said.
Yei State Ministry of Education official, Philip Taban said “the result is encouraging”, lauding parents for timely payment of school fees and teachers for their continued sacrifice while receiving low salaries.
He also said the financial support through the Girls Program greatly encourages the girls to learn and brings back those girls who dropped out.
Results from specific subject tests indicated that students performed best in geography, followed by history while English language had the lowest scores. The results further demonstrated that, out of 1,865 students who took the exams in private schools, 1,188 candidates passed (or 63.3%) while, out of 931 candidates who took the exams in public (government) schools, 653 passed (or 70.1%). As shown by these numbers, many schools in Yei state are privately owned while few government schools exist.
Amidst ongoing war in 2015, students managed to take the exams under the defunct Central Equatoria – which was divided into three more states. Education stakeholders said that insecurity due to war and domestic work overloading of girls at home affected the students’ performance.
For a better performance to be achieved, leaders should encourage peace in the country”, said Fikra Sarah, student of Excel international academy, whose school has not been named in the top ten.
“This is our hope that we may have peace in the country so that we shall do better. …so that we continue to have the love for education and be excellent in our country”, said Fikra, who acts as Assistant Head Girl of the school.
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