Southern Sudan: Enhancing community participation in education
06 February 2009

A school in mid-construction in Kajo Keji. Communities are supposed to contribute to school construction and maintenance. (Phil Cunningham/JRS)
The skills gained during the workshop by the participants enabled them to mobilise the community and the parents to contribute towards construction of classroom structures.
Kajo Keji, 6 February 2009 Secondary schools in Kajo Keji provide a good example of how attitudes can be changed towards community participation. In December 2008, in order to provide suitable learning environment for their children, parents in four secondary schools started contributing money to purchase bricks for construction of permanent classroom structures.

In two secondary schools for example parents are contributing between 3,000 and 6,000 Uganda shillings (1,5-2 USD) respectively. During the annual meeting of the parents teachers association (PTA), parents were sensitized by the board of governours (BOG) of secondary schools and JRS Secondary Education Consultant. Before a workshop on community participation, mobilisation & contribution was conducted for PTA & BOG executive committees in the four supported secondary schools. The skills gained during the workshop by the participants enabled them to mobilise the community and the parents to contribute towards construction of classroom structures.

In addition, Lire Secondary School raised a classroom block in 2008 using funds contributed by the community. However, the work stopped at roofing and finishing stage as funds contributed were exhausted.

Parents become more involved

Through the community sensitisation, people’s attitudes are gradually changing. Training the PTA and the BOG executive has enabled JRS to reach the parents in the community; and they are using the knowledge and skills gained during workshops to mobilise resources for the progress of their school. Many parents tend to think that the government should use money without parents’ contribution for construction. Nevertheless, many parents have realised the importance of community involvement and participation i.e. acquiring a sense of ownership through sensitisation workshops.

It is this strong spirit of voluntary work in Kajo Keji that enabled to start an adequate number of community schools. To date there are 80 primary and 11 secondary community schools which are supported by the government.







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