South Sudan schools begin a phased reopening on October 5th

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The South Sudan government has given a go-ahead for a phased reopening of schools beginning October 5th, 2020.

South Sudan school girls from unidentified location in the capital Juba (File photo)

This announcement was made as the government gave the green light to public places gathering to reopen which include churches and schools. However, they must observe COVID-19 guidelines.

The first phase of school reopening will consist of primary 8 and senior 4 reopening, which is expected to begin from the 5th of October.

The rest of the students will report back much later on in February, 2021.

The estimated number of schools with candidate classes reopening in the first phase, is around 1,400, with a total enrolment of at least 110,000 students including 75,000 in Primary 8.

This move has been received well by the members of the public and institutions.

UNICEF is one of the institutions that welcomed the move by the government positively. It said that it has supported Ministry of General Education and Instruction in developing plans and protocols for the reopening of schools.

“UNICEF has supported the Ministry of General Education and Instruction in developing plans and protocols for the reopening of schools. The priority is ensuring that schools are as safe as possible for students and teachers. Key points in the reopening plan include improved access to water for handwashing and drinking for students and teachers, distribution of soap and masks, teacher training on COVID-19 prevention and community sensitization on COVID-19 related to the reopening of schools.” Read a statement it shared on its website.

According to UNICEF Representative in South Sudan, Dr Mohamed Ag Ayoya, the safe reopening of school is the priority and the institution is working with the ministry of education to ensure that the reopening of schools is safe for both teachers, students and parents.

“Our entire team is mobilized and working with the Ministry of General Education and Instruction as well as all other concerned line Ministries and partners to help making the reopening of school a smooth process.” He said.

Save the Children also welcomed the move saying that it will put a smile on 2.2 Million children whose right to education was impacted by over six months of schools’ closure.

In a statement, the Children Country Director in South Sudan, Mama Hansrai uged the government to ensure the safety of the children, teachers and parent.

“We urge the government to ensure that these children who are out of school are mobilized to resume their education and to put in place the necessary health guidance to ensure that children, teachers and their parents are protected from potential risks pose by the COVID-19.” He said.

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