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Children campaign to bring girls back to school

In a community where girls’ education is not considered important, children have taken the lead in changing attitudes through their campaign to get parents to allow girls go to school.

From a three days girl child education training facilitated by Plan International South Sudan’s safe school project.  Emmanuel and Mary, both pupils of Gudele West Primary School started sharing messages about the benefits of sending girls to school. Emmanuel says; an educated girl is an asset to the family and the community. He quickly adds that an illiterate girl is most likely to become a liability to the family.   He advises parents to grant equal education opportunities for all children regardless of gender.

An educated girl is an asset to the family and the community

Mary says the three-day training on girl child education was an eye-opener and as a member of the safer school club in Gudele West, she is using her new skills to spread the message obout the importance of girls child education to communities so that parents will enroll their daughters in school.

Girls taking part in Community Outreach training at their school
Girls taking part in Community Outreach training at their school.

“I started with my friends and then I asked them to raise the awareness of their parents and relatives about the importance of educating girls. I talked to our neighbors and asked them to enroll their girls in school so that they would be able to gain an education and be better positioned to serve their families and the community as a whole.” Mary says.

Mary and Emmanuel say that, at first, they encountered a lot of challenges as most of their friends and neighbors refused to listen to them, “they told us that we were only kids with limited knowledge about the world and its surroundings” Emmanuel explains.

But their persistence and determination has led to a 9% increase in enrollment for girls in their school. They both acknowledge that it is hard work, but seeing more girls come to schools encourages them to reach out more and continue their efforts.

According to the Ministry of Education, science and technology’s annual school census report out of the all-girls who registered for school, only fifty percent of them complete primary and less than 20 percent complete secondary education.