Congratulations to Ibba Girls’ Boarding School, which was the best performing school in the whole of South Sudan in the 2018 Primary Leaving Certificate exams! IGBS was the only school in the country with a 100% pass rate, and the top 6 scorers in the country were all IGBS students. This enormous achievement is testament to the hard work of the girls and their teachers and families and the volunteers who have supported their learning over the last five years.
While we recognise that progress is at least as important as attainment in education, these results help to show the impact which this one school is having on raising standards and expectations across a country which is nearly three times the size of the UK and which has suffered from so many years of violence, displacement, hunger and poverty that it is near to the bottom of most of the world’s league tables.
This graduating P8 class is now the new Senior 1 class – itself a massive achievement in a country in which almost all girls have dropped out of education by now in order to care for younger siblings or start their own families. In this edition, we introduce you to a few of them.
Meet (left to right) Jennifer, Viola, Suzan and Sheeba.
Jennifer from Ibba enjoys “the school environment, the time with friends, and the teaching”. For Jennifer, IGBS means that she can talk to people confidently, can speak English well, and has learned things she will never forget in her life. Like many others she writes that “the impact on me and my family is that if I would be at home perhaps I would get pregnant, but IGBS has made me to be the level where I am now, and I promise to do my best!”.
Viola also lives in Ibba County. During the holidays she was selected to work for the community because she can read and write, and speaks English well, and explains,
“I registered poor people, pregnant mothers, children and old people so that they could receive food and non-food items, and the money I received helped me and my family to buy things I need for school. IGBS inspires me to be knowledgeable and intelligent, to know how to talk in public, and to prevent early pregnancy. I like being at IGBS because I enjoy being with my friends, good learning, and the food we eat”.
Suzan comes from Yambio, the capital of Gbudue State. She likes IGBS because it has “helped me to be a good leader who can speak English well, to make friends with people from other counties, to prevent me from early marriage, to know how to speak in public. The school has inspired me to turn my goals into realities and make the right decisions in my life”.
Sheeba comes from Nzara County in neighbouring Gbudue State, 80 miles away along a mud road that is frequently impassable or insecure. She writes, “I enjoy the teaching at IGBS, the food we eat, and playing with my friends. Ibba Girls’ School has helped to prevent me from early pregnancy, to know how to care for my own body, and to grow spiritually. It has improved my knowledge on solving personal problems, to be a good and confident woman in the future, and to learn so that I can be successful and prosperous. IGBS has made me turn my goals into realities!”.