15 candidates including 7 girls in Abyei Administrative Area have missed South Sudan Primary Leaving Examinations that ended on Friday.
The Director General of Education in Abyei Administrative Area, John Ajang Kiir said in an interview with Abyei FM on Friday afternoon. Ajang said the examinations went on well.
In the disputed Abyei region, 929 primary eight pupils were registered for these examinations but 15 out of them did not turn up from the first till the last day of the last paper.
The reasons the candidates did not take their papers are unclear, but it is widely believed that the learners have left the area or have gone into marriages.
When schools reopened for candidate class late last year, after six months of shutdown, education officials in Abyei reported irregularities in learner’s attendance.
They stated that dozens of pupils and students did not returned to learning facilities due to early marriages and pregnancies.
Abyei FM spoke to Atoch Yuot, a pregnant 17-year-old girl after writing her last paper. With courage and fortitude Yuot attempted all the tests that if passed would take her to the next level of education.
“I suffered very much from sickness, but I endured because of examinations. I was patient and I studied. I forced myself to the examinations so that I can get a certificate. I stay awake at night and read in the early morning again,” said Yuot.
Yuot encourages girls to be patient and continue with education instead of getting married at early.
Marriage did not prevent Awel Chol, a 22-year-old mother of two children in Agok from rejoining classes. Chol was among those who sat for primary leaving exams at Comboni Juol-jok primary school.
“I want to tell my sisters; don’t hurry, one has to be patient and study so when you marry you can have abilities and make your decision,” said Chol.