Senior Colonel Nguyen Viet Hung, Chief of the Engineering Company Rotation 2 and Commanding Officer of the Vietnam’s peacekeeping force at the U.N. Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA), and Education and Construction Minister Nyinkwany Aguer Bol led the delegation.

Servicewomen of the Engineering Company Rotation 2 and kids in Abyei

According to the survey results, up to now, there are about 10 schools of different sizes in the Abyei. The school that has nearly 200 students is located 20km from the center of Abyei and struggled with extremely difficult travel conditions. The largest school has nearly 3,000 students gathered from seven local schools. Attentively, the number of teachers is relatively small. Most of them are volunteer teachers from other African countries. The professional qualifications of local teachers are not high and uneven.

Survey results also show that schools in Abyei face the same problems such as poor facilities, there are not enough classrooms, canteens, and toilets. Moreover, there are schools with a large number of students and a small number of classrooms. Therefore, each classroom has to accommodate from 100 to 150 students.

Classes are too large due to high number of students.

After the survey, the delegation had a working session with the Ministry of Education and Construction, during which they discussed plans to upgrade infrastructure and material conditions in schools.

Senior Captain Phung The Khanh, a civilian military coordination (CIMIC) officer of the Engineering Company Rotation 2, said that “Together with professional expertise-related activities, the Vietnam’s Engineering Company is always determined that helping people is a regular and long-term task. Effective task implementation requires high coordination and determination between Vietnamese peacekeepers at UNISFA Mission and local authorities. In the short-term, the unit will focus on its support activities for the education sector in Abyei area.”

Children are excited when watching the cartoon.

As part of the survey, Vietnamese blue-beret engineers visited a kindergarten located in an Abyei church. This is a place to teach and care for more than 200 orphans. During the visit, the Vietnamese peacekeepers screened cartoons, and presented candies and biscuits to them.

Principal of the kindergarten Ms. Catherine was touched by what Vietnamese peacekeepers have done for Abyei in general and for her school in particular. “The kids have not watched TV for a long time and some even have never seen it before. This was a wonderful chance for them to explore new things. After the cartoon screening, we will organize an extracurricular session for them to draw what impressed them in today’s cartoon projection,” said the school’s leader.

Reported by The Khanh and Hai Yen from Abyei

Translated by Mai Huong