As South Sudanese our educational aim is to develop the personalities of our children to the end that they will be conscious of their responsibility to fellow humans. Our school Children’s attitudes are shaped to some extent by the structures or facilities through which they are mediated. In fact, such building conditions at Liggi primary school can directly affect the attitudes of the children or the attitudes of teachers and parents which in turn affect children’s academic performance. Naturally, children feel better about themselves when their surroundings are pleasant of which the miserable Liggi children are not even nearer to. This is one of the many challenges the Liggi community is facing today.
As I talk today, Liggi Primary School may face the combined challenges of deteriorating conditions and rapidly declining enrollments. These combined deficiencies will effectively impair the quality of teaching and learning and contribute to health and safety problems for staff and children. Again the school buildings and facility conditions have been associated with teacher motivation and student achievement. My concern here is that the Ministry of Education should develop a national Center for assessments of school buildings and site condition rather than waiting until the buildings collapse which “might endanger the lives of the children as they are the future of this nation” as said by the Commissioner of Yei, Juma David. If at all it is available, then it is not implementing its roles. The National Center for Education Statistics, in its mandate is to give any information about the conditions of the schools including the building infrastructures.
It is unfortunately that the closed JRS let the Liggi Community down after all they required for without any explanation. The decaying environmental conditions like what you see in the photos, can affect the learning as well as the health and the morale of staff and students, Normally, students’ standardized achievement scores may be lower in schools with poor building conditions, Poorer achievement can also be associated with specific building condition factors such as classrooms, furniture and more others.
In dilapidated buildings, the atmosphere can easily be punctuated more by despair and frustration; these are the typical backdrop for teaching and learning in Liggi Primary.
Where there are problems with working conditions, they are serious enough to impinge on the work of teachers; they may result in higher absenteeism, reduced levels of effort, and lower effectiveness in the classroom, low morale, and reduced job satisfaction.
As I observed one day, Liggi Primary is overcrowded school. This is a serious problem in many schools in Yei County, particularly in the inner town, where space for new construction is at a premium and funding for such construction is limited. As a result, pupils and students find themselves trying to learn while jammed into spaces never intended as classrooms. Although research on the relationship between overcrowding and student learning has been limited, there is some evidence, particularly in schools like Liggi Primary, that overcrowding can have an adverse impact on learning.
Crowded classrooms conditions in Liggi not only make it difficult for pupils to concentrate on their lessons, but inevitably limit the amount of time teachers can spend on innovative teaching methods such as cooperative learning and group work or, indeed on teaching anything beyond the barest minimum of required material. In addition, because teachers must constantly struggle simply to maintain order in an overcrowded classroom, the likelihood increases that they will suffer from burnout earlier than might otherwise are the cases.
The Construction of Liggi Primary school will be of impact on teaching/learning, it will lead teachers and pupils to feel a renewed sense of hope, of commitment, a belief that they are cared about.