Southern Sudan: New classroom block in Kajo Keji inaugurated
14 August 2009

Workers in Kajo Keji in mid-construction of a school building. (Phil Cunningham/JRS)
“We are happy and excited about the new building and we hope it will help us improve our performance.”
Kajo Keji, 14 August 2009 — JRS inaugurated a four classroom block at Jalimo Parents secondary school in Kajo Keji, Southern Sudan on August 14th.

During the ceremony, the classroom block was officially handed over to the community. Students will soon start using the new facilities and enjoy the more conducive learning environment. “We are happy and excited about the new building and we hope it will help us improve our performance,” said head teacher, Mr. Murye Silas Eluzai.

Representatives of local and educational authorities, members of the parent-teacher association and the board of governors as well as teachers and students were all present to celebrate the new school building.

Learning in the elements

Since 2004 students at Jalimo secondary school were taught in dilapidated grass thatched buildings. Sometimes they were affected by rains which easily entered through holes in the roof. Nevertheless their examination results were continuously good.

The start of the construction of the building in April this year and the good examination results attracted more students increasing the student population to 300 in the second term. Last year the school was ranked second of all ten secondary schools in the final examinations results in Kajo Keji County, after the Comboni run Comprehensive College.

"The parents had limited capacity to build a permanent classroom block until JRS came in to support their efforts," said the board of governors’ chairperson, Mr. Konyiki Isaac. He urged the school administration to ensure that the building is well maintained and carefully utilised by teachers and students alike. JRS project director, Mr. Lisok Joseph John, advised the students and the general school administration to protect the new building from heavy rains and wind by planting flowers, trees and grass around.

”This block is a symbol of development,” said County Education Director Mr. Amos Longa, thanking the teachers and the head teacher in particular for their initiative. He too advised the school to maintain and repair any future damages that might affect the building and urged students not to destroy or damage the building.

Finally, the inspector for secondary schools at the County Education Office called upon students to love their school. “Call the building yours," he advised the students, stressing their responsibility to sustain the structures.

New school popular among parents

Like many other community schools, Jalimo Parents secondary school was built soon after the over two decade long civil war came to an end in 2004, using grass and old iron sheets collected from military barracks in Kajo Keji County. The school has rapidly progressed since JRS started supporting it in 2005. Because of the improved learning environment as well as the quality of teaching and the performance of the students, many parents now opt to send their children to Jalimu.

JRS started working in Kajo Keji in 2001, training teachers and providing educational services. The project has expanded rapidly since 2002 and it provides extensive educational support in 26 primary and five secondary schools with 14,000 students.

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