The head prefect at the closed Redeemed Generation Academy in Torit County Winnie Manuela Masimino expresses her grievances at the school premises. [Gurtong/ Peter Lokale Nakimangole]
By Peter Lokale Nakimangole
TORIT, 17 June 2012 [Gurtong] – The State Minister of Education Michael Lopuke Lotyam last week ordered the closure of the Redeemed Gospel Church – owned school in Nyong Payam over what it termed the school’s failure to meet pre and primary school establishment requirements.
The closure came after the presentation of a report by a 6-member assessment committee commissioned by the State Education Minister to assess the condition of the school.
The committee had recommended that the location of the school in a busy market area and with close proximity to a bar was not conducive to learning.
It also said that the absence of a fence around the school encouraged truancy by the pupils as their movement cannot be checked.
Further, the committee found out that the school lacked adequate sanitation facilities for its population of over 1,200 pupils.
“The latrine is very close to the congested and poorly-ventilated dormitories and the poorly constructed dining hall and kitchen. Moreover, there is no garbage disposal pit in the flooded school”, read the committee report.
The school’s head teacher Paul Lokalang Augustino protested against the Minister’s order saying the school must continue operating as it assists poor children from across the state.
He disclosed that the school’s 18 teachers are competent enough to handle the school population.
The school head prefect Winnie Manuela Masimino termed the decision “a personal decision by the Minister and which she said does not reflect well on the Government of South Sudan’s pledge to improve education in the new country”.
“Teaching has been going on very well in the capable hands of our administration and teachers. Those people closing our school are just there to spoil our future for their own interest. We want this school to re-open in two days. Learning is very important as we prepare to become leaders of tomorrow. We also want to attain education and become ministers”, she said as she wept uncontrollably.
In a bid to implement the directive, the Torit County Commissioner has been directed to deploy police officers to cordon the school.