Ariang Network of Schools (ANS) supports three area primary schools, reaching over 2,500 students and 60 educators. The goal is to bring local schools together for stronger support networks in order to promote long-term sustainability and uplift the education status of the entire community making it more equitable for all.
The biggest challenge that most schools face in South Sudan is sustainability. Schools are built and kick off learning to then close down in less than one decade. In just the two-hour drive from Wau to Ariang, you will see several abandoned school buildings, a symbol of failed community dreams. This national issue is due to a number of factors that include mass student dropouts, weak school leadership & management, insufficient funding, on-going civil war, insecurity concerns, hunger, and insignificant teacher salaries.
Key Objectives of ANS Program
|Provide quality education to the kids and promote equitable access to education for all students.|
|Distribution of school uniforms, shoes, books & pens, and sports equipment to both teachers and students to help reduce the stigma that comes with lack of access to basic school supplies.|
|Develop schools’ capacity so that schools can manage their operations, resources, and coordinate the teaching & support staff effectively. This includes providing teachers with learning opportunities and establishing and maintaining partnerships with other like-minded organizations.|
|Construction of permanent school infrastructures such as classrooms, bathrooms & drainage systems, boreholes, and water storage units.|
|Advocacy for girls’ education and support for girls to enroll and stay in school until they graduate.|
|Addressing training gaps by recruiting qualified teachers and supplementing teachers’ salaries so that teachers can focus on teaching. Currently, teachers in ANS get an average monthly salary of between $20-$50 from the government. This salary bracket is insufficient to meet teachers’ needs. Through this program, their salary is topped-up to create more fair living wages.|
Impact: What Are The Achievements Of Ariang Network of Schools?
– Graduated 432 – up from a total school population of under 100 students in 2011 when Ariang opened its doors for students.
– Successfully developed a “feeder school” model where students in grades 7 & 8 all feed into Ariang Primary School allowing the most qualified teachers to be placed in these high-stakes and high-impact classes, therefore, benefiting all students living within the network of schools.
– Built Ariang Primary School from what used to be a cows’ resting place. Initially, students gathered under trees in an open field to receive instructions. Today, Ariang School has 8 permanent classes for grades 1 – 8, 1 kitchen, 1 staff office, 1 food store/library & 1 kitchen, 12 permanent bathroom units, 1 septic tank, 1 hand-pump borehole, and a rainwater collection facility. Ariang School, for example, has even become the testing center for area schools during national exams.
– Distributed 7,208 school uniforms, 7,208 pairs of shoes, and more than 20,000 school supplies-stationeries and sports equipment.
– Supported 9 teachers to attend 2 teacher training programs in Kenya and successfully conducted a full-year of professional development for teachers of Ariang School. ANS aims to reach more teachers through a “turn-key training model” in order to develop their capacity to teach.
– ANS has become a leader in quality education. In 2018 – 2019, ANS schools were among the top 3 best performing schools in the primary school national exams in the county. Through ANS, the percentage of girls attending school increased from about 20% in 2011 to 50% today.
– Set up a lending library that has over 500 textbooks and other learning materials.
While many schools were (sadly) closing down in South Sudan due to the resurgence of civil wars in 2013, ANS ensured sustainability and continued learning of the 3 area schools.
The ANS Schools, Their Histories, Challenges, and Successes
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