Kapoeta North sets by-laws to encourage school enrollment

Authorities in Kapoeta North County of Eastern Equatoria State, South Sudan on Friday finalized the development of by-laws to encourage school enrollment and combat early pregnancies among school-going children.

The by-laws, to be launched at the end of the month, were developed during a series of meetings held in Kapoeta North supported by AVSI Foundation in collaboration with county authorities, community leaders, education partners, parents, and teachers.

“Some of the sections are to promote child education with more emphasis on the girl child, empowering the local communities to be responsible in safeguarding the right of the children, and teachers’ code of conduct are some of the laws. The laws also impose penalties on the defaulters on girl child education as well impose penalties to the teachers, It also empowers communities to support education and the highest penalty is 10,000 South Sudanese pounds,” Ephone Emmanuel, the Commissioner of Kapoeta North County said.

Oyom Pasquale Angelo from AVSI Foundation in Kapoeta said the set draft by-laws is a community initiative supported by AVSI to promote quality education for all.

“We have supported the development of by-laws developed by local leaders. The idea came during a three-day workshop purposed to enhance access to education and the intention is to ensure continuity to promote quality education for all and to ensure the protection and well-being of children as well as gender and inclusive education,” Pasquale noted.

“Some of the challenges we face within Kapoeta North County is that parents are so reluctant or they are non-supportive to pay school fees and other requirements needed for the children. Most of the parents or community are keeping children at home, failing to provide access for children to go to school,” he added.

Lucy Awii, a parent living in Kapoeta town said once the by-laws are implemented, enrolment in schools will improve and called on her fellow parents to allow their children to attend school.

“This is a very good move for us all because all the children within the community have all gone to the market and street loitering. But we are very happy and we want these by-laws to be implemented as soon as possible to help these children join schools. Many children are now becoming criminals in the markets, we want all these children to go to school,” she said.

Oyet Kornelious Gamsiro, the head teacher of Riwoto Primary School applauded AVSI and county authorities for the initiatives saying it will improve education in the county.

“The by-laws according to my observation are so helpful in so many ways because the by-laws targeted all the areas that we think if implemented we shall achieve quality education in Kapoeta North County. I call on all the community members to support the implementation of these by-laws,” he explained.

Kornelious urged parents and education partners to support the implementation of the by-laws by ensuring children access education and remain in school.

Education partners say the illiteracy rate among school-going children in greater Kapoeta is estimated at 98 percent due to early marriages.

Source: Radio Tamazuj