In South Sudan, Eunice and Nelson love their new school

Video of the week

A school girl in South Sudan

Meet Otii Nelson Ochola

Nelson is 15 and in 8th Grade, the last year of primary school. He wants to be a pilot to be able to fly to the United States and Great Britain and see what these countries are like. It takes him ½ hour to walk to the new primary school in Ayii, a village in Magwi county in South Sudan, near the Ugandan border.

Because of food shortages in the area, most days Nelson doesn’t eat lunch. It makes it difficult for him to concentrate on his lessons in the afternoon at school. He noticed that the teachers have the same problem.

Until recently, Nelson had only been to school under a tree. If it rained, there were no classes. He really likes the new school and wishes the new football field could be finished soon as well so that he can also play at school.

Meet Eunice Aber Betty

Eunice, also 15 and in 8th Grade, wants to become a teacher. It takes her an hour to walk to school every morning. The school she used to go to had a thatched roof that leaked when it rained. It had no toilets. Here, at the Ayii model school, she appreciates the nice building and the clean toilets. However, when she is on her period, she misses school because she doesn’t have any sanitary pads. She feels embarrassed to go to school during this time and often does not go 4-5 days a month. On the way to school, she often gets teased by boys and men, so she runs all the way and tries to join other girls to feel safer.

Building schools so that children can learn

The new school in Ayii is one of 25 model primary schools that are being constructed around the country with support from a GPE grant. A total of 5 schools were completed in 2015 and have since registered more students than before the construction began, the next 20 school will be completed this year.

The lack of basic infrastructure is one of the main challenges that education partners are addressing in South Sudan to ensure that more children are able to go to school.

Watch this video to learn more about Eunice, Nelson and education in their country:

With special thanks to our colleagues at UNICEF for their contributions to Nelson and Eunice’ stories and the video

Sub-Saharan Africa: South Sudan
Denmark, Norway


The Global Partnership for Education Secretariat is headquartered in Washington DC and has approximately 100 staff. The Secretariat provides administrative and operational support to all its partners including...

Latest blogs

With support from partners, Afghanistan is reopening schools that had been closed due to insecurity or lack of sufficient facilities. So far, 60 schools have been reopened.
In a personal video message shared on the Malala Fund’s Twitter account, Malala implored “all governments, all countries and all world leaders” to support GPE and help get every girl and boy in...
How can we produce better data on education for developing countries, ultimately resulting in strengthened education systems? This blog proposes to increase demand-side investments through a new...