Athorities of South Sudan’s Warrap state fear that at least 463 schoolgirls impregnated during the national Covid-19 lockdown may drop out of school, as the government announced the partial resumption of learning.

In April this year, the South Sudanese government imposed a partial lockdown closing all learning institutions, banning social gatherings and worship institutions to help curb the spread of the disease.

But on the 5th of October, the South Sudan national Ministry of General Education and Instruction announced the partial reopening of schools across the country, starting with candidate classes.

“We have in Warrap state 463 girls impregnated during the closure of all the schools because of COVID-19,” said Kuanyin Kuanyin, the Coordinator for partners in Warrap state Ministry of Education. “Amongst these numbers, 180 girls were registered as candidates from primary eight (8) and senior four (4) ready to sit for their final examinations at the end of 2020.”

Kuanyin told Radio Tamazuj that the ministry and education partners will ensure the 180 candidates sit their exams.

“We are working with partners to ensure that we counsel all these girls so that they sit in the upcoming exams. We do not want them to drop out; we will use all the available means to make sure that they come back to schools,” he assured.

According to a report released by the Support Peace Development Initiative Organization (SPIDO) in Juba two months ago, more than 1,500 teenage school girls have been impregnated or married-off in South Sudan since the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown.