South Sudan: Loyola Secondary School

Our series on Achievement in Africa and the struggle towards success focuses in on South Sudan, one of the most conflicted countries on the continent. At Loyola Secondary School (LSS) in Wau, lay teachers and Jesuits are working determinably to provide quality education to students. They will be—in the Ignatian tradition—men and women for others, capable of being forces for peace and sustainable development.

Developing language, life and social skills

In addition to attaining a high academic standard, LSS trains students to develop language, life and social skills. One past pupil who entered the school speaking only Arabic, describes what Loyola has done for him: “Now I can communicate in English, to listen to people, even go worldwide. At that time, we don’t know how to speak to people, polite words were not there and we don’t know how to take care of ourselves.

“But they were insisting on us. We have to know how to dress, how to speak politely to people. How to interact with different races, different communities, different countries. So today if another person comes not from my country, I know how to deal with him very well.”

School sustainable agriculture

The agriculture project was initiated to ensure a sustainable feeding program for the school. Students are being trained in sustainable agriculture and food security. Maize, groundnuts and beans are some of the crops currently planted in the school farm. It is hoped that produce will also be an income generating project.

A little about LSS

LSS is a co-educational day school established in the year 1982. Unfortunately, due to civil wars and turmoil in South Sudan, the school had to close down after only two years until 2008. It is now going from strength to strength with almost 600 young adults attending as both fee-paying students and as scholarship recipients.

The male/female proportion is approximately equivalent with special consideration given to young women’s needs in order to enable them to complete their secondary education.

Author: Irish Jesuit Missions, 12th April, 2016