On World Children’s Day A Child Speaks Out: Educate Us!

I have a message for my parents, teachers and all those involved in the support of education programs in South Sudan. As a 15 year old girl, I’m very much concerned about girls’ education.

On World Children’s Day A Child Speaks Out: Educate Us!
Mary Laku, a pupil of Juba Nabari Primary School

By: Mary Laku, a pupil of Juba Nabari Primary School   

JUBA, 20 November 2017 [Gurtong]-
Did you know that less than one child in 10 is likely to complete primary education if the current situation persists? For girls that figure is even lower.  

My message is that you should not give too much work to pupils after school hours, especially girls because they are normally made to wash clothes, utensils, cook and even clean the house. All these chores take time leaving us with no time to do homework or to study to pass exams. These chores can also result in us coming late to school and add to the serious problem of absenteeism in this country.

I have a passion for learning and really want protection for my studies. I am so disturbed about the boys and girls not attending classes. Parents should therefore send all their children to school because education is the key to brighter future. I urge all parents to make it their responsibility to educate all their children.

Like many children in South Sudan, I am living in a challenging environment. But as a girl my education is not as valued as that of a boy. Like other girls, I also run the risk of being married off too young and then having to stop my education.  Please let us stop early and forced marriage and instead focus on education.

I have heard many stories from my peers who are being pressured into marriage and I do not want that lifestyle. We are still children and are not ready for marriage. Please let children be children.

Our people should all focus on promoting peace in our country so that education will progress well. The country cannot move forward with an uneducated generation.

Our parents should stop giving us out for dowries because we deserve to be able to reach our full potential. And that is only possible through education.

The government should enact laws protecting girls from early and forced marriages, empowering gender equality and encourage more women to be involved in politics. It should also ensure that all girls go to school, stay in school – for the future of the country.

I truly value my education because I know it holds the promise of a better life. My dream is to become a medical doctor and by so doing, I will be able to help my country in addressing some of the health challenges affecting our people.

Finally, I would like to appreciate the donors, UNICEF and its partners who have always been funding education in South Sudan especially at this difficult moment that our country is going through. Please, I urge you to continue with the support and may God bless you all.
 

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