A school management committee empowered to construct additional learning spaces

April 8, 2024 11:29 am

Nyangore Primary School is a government school in Ulang County, Upper Nile State, established in 2011. The school includes classes from Primary 1 to Primary 8, a nursery school and an afternoon Accelerated Learning Programme. The school had a total of 539 (261 girls and 278 boys) learners in the primary school in 2023, with 18 teachers. 

Despite high enrolment, this rural government school faced numerous challenges that have affected the quality of education provided, including inadequate learning infrastructure and limited classroom space. Two classes were previously taught under trees. 

Teachers, grappling with overcrowded classrooms, found it challenging to provide individualised support to struggling learners. This not only disrupted the learning process but led to a reduction in enrolment after parents and guardians witnessed a decline in educational attainment. In the year 2022, enrolment dropped to 338 learners from 728 learners in 2021. 

The catalyst for change was a comprehensive training programme with the School Management Committee (SMC), delivered by the Girls’ Education South Sudan (GESS) programme. The SMC members (inclusive of school management, teachers, parents and guardians and the Head Girl and Head Boy) participated in a series of workshops covering, among other topics, school management; resource mobilization; and community engagement.  

Empowered with knowledge and inspired by a collective vision for a better future, the SMC drafted a school development plan and budget – a requirement for schools to receive a capitation grant – and started to work with fresh determination. 

Capitation grants are funds made available to all not-for-profit schools (government, community and schools) to help supplement running costs and improve the learning environment. Schools must provide school development plans and budgets to qualify for the grant, as this guides schools’ development vision and holds them accountable. GESS provides capitation grants to secondary schools, whilst the Government of the Republic of South Sudan (GRSS) has committed to providing primary schools with the grant. 

The immediate challenge identified by the SMC members of Nyangore Primary School was the shortage of classrooms. The recent training that the SMC received highlighted that the school could top-up their capitation grant funds through community mobilisation – requesting parents, guardians and local community members to support the school’s development plan through financial or in-kind contributions. They mobilized the community, rallying parents, local traders and volunteers to help address the pressing issue.  

After weeks of collective effort, the SMC successfully gathered enough funds to build temporary learning spaces. The Head Teacher of the school said, “We are very happy that the SMC of the school was able to mobilise the community for resources for building four classrooms. We want them to continue to support us in the future.” 

The impact was profound. With additional classrooms, Nyangore Primary School was able to accommodate all students comfortably. The once crowded and dilapidated spaces and under-tree classrooms were replaced, and the improved learning environment led to increased teacher-learner engagement. The school’s enrolment, which was previously struggling, increased from 338 in 2022 to 539 in the year 2023.  

The effect of this initiative will be felt beyond these physical structures. The SMC is busy lobbying for the same community support for various other school projects, including upgrading sanitation facilities and encouraging enrolment of learners with disabilities through building more accessible infrastructure.  

The sense of ownership and pride in Nyangore Primary School even became a driving force for sustained positive change amongst other schools in Ulang County. “The rest of the schools in Ulang County have witnessed these efforts and have started making plans. I hope they will also work hard to find additional resources to support their development plans,” concluded the Head Teacher of Nyangore Primary School.   

More information on capitation grants can be found on our website: 

Capitation Grants: Girls’ Education South Sudan (girlseducationsouthsudan.org) 



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