Today is World Teachers’ Day!

October 5, 2022 11:00 am

Annually, October 5th is celebrated as World Teachers’ Day to provide an occasion to celebrate teaching and to resolve some of the issues for attracting and keeping the brightest young minds in this profession.

This year, the theme of the day is, ‘The transformation of education begins with teachers’.

GESS takes this opportunity to celebrate all the teachers doing amazing work in South Sudan, despite many challenges! We wanted to use the platform of World Teachers’ Day to highlight some of the teachers who are striving to ensure that girls and boys continue to learn.

When schools in South Sudan reopened after being closed for more than one year due to COVID-19, teachers went above and beyond to ensure learners could catch-up after the time spent out of school.

One such teacher is Mr Rufus, who teaches Primary 1 and Primary 8, English language. “Previously, learners would come to school from 7am to 1pm, but we had to start teaching from 7am to 3pm, adding two extra hours. This is to give them extra time to learn. We did not get extra pay for the additional time, we did it because we want the learners to cope and perform well. It is the pride of a teacher when the students they teach pass well and become better people. When you meet them on the streets, it is a joy”

Mr Rufus adds, “You know as teachers, what is inside your heart is what you want to give. Personally, I always ask my learners to be able to approach me if they do not understand what I teach because in school, the level of understanding is generally different. I always tell them that it doesn’t mean if you are in school, you know everything. When you fail, it helps you to learn”.

In some schools in South Sudan, teachers are not only teaching, but also offering emotional and psychosocial support, especially necessary after the stresses of COVID-19 and related school closures.

One such teacher is Mr. Reuben, a teacher at Juba Model Primary School.  “In the school, we have a trauma healing club and boys’, and girls’ clubs. In these clubs we offer counselling to the learners, and they can open up when they have problems. Like the orphans, those with disabilities etc, they feel free in those sessions especially in the clubs and they are supported. These sessions can help the learners stay focused when they know someone cares”.

Whilst teachers like Rufus and Reuben do so much to ensure leaners are achieving, it is the responsibility of the government to ensure that teachers get decent treatment, especially through the provision of a regular salary.

Without well qualified teachers, the quality of education is questionable. South Sudan still suffers from a shortage of trained teachers due to low pay and inconsistency of pay. Many trained teachers take up better paying jobs.

GESS continues to work closely with the Ministry of General Education and Instruction (MoGEI) to ensure the quality of education improves through support to teachers. Girls’ Education South Sudan (GESS) supports education across South Sudan, including support to teachers through the Accelerated Secondary Education Programme (ASEP). The ASEP gives an opportunity to teachers who are already teaching but haven’t completed secondary education to complete in a compressed form (2 years), while they continue to teach.

On this World Teachers’ Day, we celebrate all teachers, and call upon all stakeholders to ensure teachers are supported to be able to deliver their work.

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