Jesuit Missions 11 Edge Hill ,
SW19 4LR Wimbledon,

Availability and Accessibility of Basic Education at the Margin of Margins

  • 14 June 2022

By Fr. Wanyonyi Eric Simiyu, S.J.

Accessing basic primary education is a privilege to a few children of Akol Jal village. Akol Jal villages is at the margin of margins. Unlike in most parts of East African Community, access to basic primary education is no long a privilege for a few children. Basic primary education is a basic right for every child. Primary schools are easily available and accessible. Children at the age of 13 will be finishing primary 8 in Kenya, primary 7 in Uganda and Tanzania, primary 6 (grade 6) in Rwanda and Burundi. It is different in Akol Jal there are no proper functioning primary schools. A few lucky ones at age 13 will be in primary 3. The rest will remain at home doing domestic work and herding cattle. Thus, availability and accessibility of basic primary education remains a privilege at the margin of margins.

Primary 3 pupils at MAJIS renovated basic education classroom. Image by Fr. Wanyonyi Eric Simiyu, S.J.

Learning from the pioneers of MAJIS basic education

Following the footsteps of Fr. Oscar Nduri, S.J., and Fr. Augostine Ekeno, S.J., I have realized the only way to help these children to be better people today and tomorrow is for them to go school. I had to make a new move.  For one month, I went house to house with MAJIS staff to encourage the parents to allow their children to continue to go to a few primary schools available and accessible in Rumbek town. I am full of joy because of the positive response. I had a seminar with mothers who are at the centre of initiating young girls into womanhood. At MAJIS, we now have an increase in the number of girls.

The power of village elders

However, this cannot be achieved without the help of Akol Jal elders. The elders are the authentic and authoritative power of the community.  Nothing can happen in the community without their stamp. Therefore, I had a meeting with the Akol Jal elders at St. Teresa Parish Rumbek to encourage them to be in the forefront of promoting basic education. I emphasized “availability and accessibility to quality holistic education will transform the community to value dignity of life, peace, and co-existence at the margin of margins.”   

Seminar at MAJIS property. Image by Fr. Wanyonyi, Eric Simiyu, S.J.

Seminar at MAJIS property. Image by Fr. Wanyonyi, Eric Simiyu, S.J.

Thank for you our benefactors and donors. Without you MAJIS cannot transform the lives of children at the margin of margins intellectually, morally and spiritually. Thank you for being part of the team that is bringing positive changes at the margin of margins. Your financial support continues to make a difference in the lives of children at the margin of margins to have available and accessible basic education. You are building lives of a new generation of peaceful and joyful children at the margins of margins.