Girls’ Education South Sudan (GESS) launched a teen-focused magazine in November 2022. 10,600 copies have been printed and distributed to learners in upper primary and secondary schools across all ten states of South Sudan. Titled ‘Teens Ta Guwa’ which loosely means ‘ Power Teens’, the magazine is intended to inspire young people to stay in school and stay motivated to reach their dreams.
The magazine is one of the tools of the quality education component of the GESS programme, which aims to improve access to, and the quality of, teaching and learning. GESS Mentoring Assistants have set up book clubs in several schools in each state. Members of the book clubs, usually around 20 learners, both girls and boys, are guided to read different articles in the magazine, and then discuss the content and the topic amongst themselves. These clubs are expected to operate even when the Mentoring Assistants are not visiting the schools anymore.
We went down to Mabor-Ngap school in Rumbek town in Lakes State, where the ‘Teens ta Guwa’ distribution was ongoing at a book club. Here’s what members of the book club had to say. “I am over 20 years and still in primary school. I was a police officer, but now I have joined a school. I always desire to read more to become better at reading, but we don’t have books in school to practice reading. This magazine will help me better my reading, increase my vocabulary, and also draw inspiration from the stories I will read, like the one we just read in the group,” Peter, a Primary 7 learner in Rumbek.
The purpose of the magazine is to inspire youth to follow their dreams, keep striving for success, and become entrepreneurial and ambitious. ‘Teens Ta Guwa’ covers a range of topics, including articles about fashion, art and learning, featuring people whose determination helped to change their lives and communities for the better.
The first edition of the magazine includes stories about persons with disabilities, which has helped to inspire learners with disabilities. “When I see people that look like me (with disabilities) being talked about and also being successful, I get the feeling that I can be anything myself and succeed if I put in an effort and work hard. I am inspired by just looking at all these people with disabilities in this magazine,” Daniel a learner with a physical disability in Rumbek. Lakes State.
The Mentoring Assistants will set up book clubs, and mentoring clubs in schools. These will be in different counties across South Sudan.
“I feel this is a very important material for learners in schools. They will improve their reading ability and learn important things as they read it. For example, the story of Dr Ngozi, Director, Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) on page 16 is very inspiring to girls. It shows to them that they can achieve so much if they put their minds to it,” Monica a Mentoring Assistant at Rumbek Centre, Lakes State.
You can read Teens ta Guwa, here.
You can read more about the quality education component of the programme here:https://girlseducationsouthsudan.org/activity/quality-education/
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