A bishop in the Sudan diocese of Ibba has warned that the chances of students passing their exams have been "endangered" because of a lack of qualified teachers.
quot;For the last two years the pupils at the Church school (St Peter Primary School) had been performing very well and the school is said to be one of the best schools in the whole state," he explained. "In last year's final exams, students from St Peter Primary School secured the second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth positions in the whole state. This year... its students moved up to secure the first, second, third and fourth positions.
"The only institution for secondary education is government-run and its biggest challenge is lack of teachers. Last year there were two teachers in Ibba secondary school and 40 students, and this year there are two classes, senior 1 & 2, but there is no news of any additional teachers. According to the headmaster Canon Thomas Taban the secondary yearns for teachers to teach mathematics, English Language, Biology, Physics and Chemistry.
The absence of teachers to teach the above mentioned subjects is an indicator that the students at Ibba secondary school won’t pass the South Sudan school certificate. The Diocesan plan and vision to develop and equip the present students for teaching profession is straight-forward and the possibility for those students who have excelled against the odds in our primary schools to now pass South Sudan school certificate next year has been endangered."
The Diocese of Ibba is located in Western Equatoria State, 214 miles from Juba. It is one of the newer dioceses, created in 1992/3 during the 21 years of civil war in Sudan. One of the diocese's biggest challenges is the high rate of illiteracy in the community of Ibba. The diocese's aim is to move towards abolishing illiteracy. In the mean time plans include running an intensive English course for Church workers and some community leaders in the community which commenced in 2009; a nursery school program initiated in 2008; an adult education program for women and female drop-outs starte in 2011; and supporting the lower and upper primary school which started in 2008.
Bp Kamani added, "The main objective for focusing on education for all levels of people is to work towards the changing of the mindset of the people in the community, to augment self esteem, and encourage our people to create personal goals, work hard, and achieve. The second diocesan objective is to develop and equip the present students who are currently in Ibba Secondary School so that they can also to teach pupils in our primary school."
He went on to appeal not only for prayers and support for this current shortfall in qualified teachers, but also for people to fill the gaps: "We therefore appeal to our partners and other concerned parties to recommend volunteers, retired teachers, new graduates and others to take up this new challenge. We will continue to do our part as a diocese to welcome anyone who would like to work with us so please do get in contact should you know anyone or want to work with us yourself."
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