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“We have forgotten everything”: COVID-19 lockdown shutters students’ intelligence quotient

Juba, South Sudan, June 04, 2021 – Several schools around Juba are reporting difficulties in reintegrating learners back to school as students are failing to cope with the academic environment after one year at home.

“We have forgotten everything”: COVID-19 lockdown shutters learners’ intelligence quotient
Students from Juba Diocesan Model Secondary School at an Assembly Point (photo credit: JDMSS courtesy)

In May, the Ministry of General Education and Instructions announced the reopening of schools, and learners resumed classes.

At most schools, however, the academic path remained rocky for many learners almost two months after learning commenced reopened.

Juba Senior Secondary School Head Teacher Mary Mun expressed frustration saying learners’ ability to learn all things academic has dropped drastically.

“It is true because it was a long time,” she said. “But at least by now a bright student to be honest would have learned and is at the peak of what we are teaching.”

Juba Day Senior Secondary School Head Master George Kenyi said some of the students are still behind while others have picked up ahead of the learning curve.

“Those who already reported to school are copying up because we are giving them exercises according to what we have taught on that day,” Mr. Kenyi stressed.

“We are practicing accelerated learning, where slow learners are not left behind so for us to make sure all of them catch up, we give them extra lessons,” the head of administration added.

At Nile Model Secondary School, the learning ability of kids has dropped even further. Levi Jimbo Lausu, a teacher at the school said children are too slow to catch up.

“Children have stayed home for long and they have been engaged with other activities, it has made it hard for them to cope up with studies,” he said.

A student from Juba Diocesan Model Secondary School Peace Keji Manasi in S.4 said that she was happy to get back to school after a while despite the challenges she faced.

“We have forgotten a lot of things, most of the things to do with schools. Generally, school work, the lessons we learned a year ago are all gone,” Keji said.

“And there was too much work as well at home, we didn’t get time to read some of the materials we had,” she added.

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