At least 15,500 children have dropped out of school due to conflict in Leer County of Southern Unity State.
The conflict has contributed to the closure of 45 primary schools in 16 Payams of Leer County sending thousands of children home.
Leer county education director Philip Bieh Tap confirmed the development to Juba Echo saying before the crisis, Leer County was composed of 54 primary schools with a total number of 24907 pupils and out of 54 primary schools, only 9 primary schools are operating.
“We had experienced serious school dropout and it was due to prolonged conflict, looting, burning and cattle raiding, many schoolgirls have really lost the idea of study and fled to different areas seeking for proper protection,” said Leer County Education Director Bieh Tap.
“These 24907 primary school’s pupils, 11103 were schoolgirls and schoolboys were 13804 before the crisis, but currently in 9 primary schools we have registered 372 schoolgirls with 4000 boys compare to last year before the conflict.” Said Mr Bieh.
“Our new school enrollment in May to June is 9407 in9 primary schools, this shows that there is a serious school dropout, some schools have only 30 pupils the school’s attendance is very poor because of the conflict,” Tap told Juba Echo in an Interview.
Leer primary school headteacher Jal Kiir Thoat said some children are unwilling to go to school due to fear of any attack by arms youths groups.
“Many families fled to Island areas, and some fled to Bentiu IDPs camp search for protection and food since their areas were looted and cattle were taken by arms youths. Many children do not mind school but the mind of proper protection and shelter,” said Kiir.
16-years old girls in Leer primary school Mrs Mary Nyakuy James said that they are only four schoolgirls in Leer primary school and by then they were more than 90 schoolgirls.
“We were few because many schoolgirls scattered to different areas after conflict broke out in April, some went to Island areas along River Nile, and some went up to Bentiu IDPs camp for protection.” Nyakuy stated to Juba Echo.