UNMISS hands over computer center and library to Torit school

29 Feb 2012

UNMISS hands over computer center and library to Torit school

28 February 2012 - Striving to fill a technology gap and encourage reading, UNMISS handed over a computer centre and library today to a school in the Eastern Equatoria State capital Torit.

The centre presented to Torit Secondary Day School is equipped with 10 computers and accessories, while the library has 175 textbooks recommended by school authorities.

Funded as an UNMISS Quick Impact Project (QUIP), the facility was completed by the mission's Bangladeshi Battalion in cooperation with the state Ministry of Education.

Accompanied by UNMISS Force Commander Major General Moses Obi, the mission's State Coordinator, Winnie Bibihuga, handed the key for the computer center and library over to State Minister of Agriculture Jerome Surur, who received it on behalf of Eastern Equatoria Governor Louis Lobong Lojore.

"The computer center is going to be a big boost to our government ... because education without modern equipment these days is no longer education," the minister said, adding that computers should be used properly to improve knowledge and skills.

Mr. Surur said the centre would also greatly assist the state in building civil servant capacity. Director generals and other senior civil servants would be trained there after working hours when the school was closed for the day.

Maj. Gen. Obi said UNISS would continue supporting the government down to county level to develop capacity, adding that education was a key area of cooperation.

"South Sudan is a new nation and the challenge is great," the force commander said. "So the policy of the mission is to deploy not only in Juba, not only to state headquarters, but down to county levels, so that we can work together as a team to move ourselves forward."

To develop the computer centre into a multi-media facility, the Bangladeshi Battalion will install Internet services in coming weeks.

"The Bangladesh contingent will contribute to developing ... facilities of access to Internet for all computers, to enable students full benefit of access to information," said Bangladeshi Commander Colonel Kamrul Hasan.

To ensure proper operation and use of the computers, the UNMISS Bangladeshi Battalion has trained three people to teach in the centre. The QUIP will cover the trainers' salaries as well as generator fuel for three months.

UNMISS is also assisting in other areas of state development, including reclamation of flooded areas to provide agricultural land for returnees and establishment of the Demobilization, Disarmament and Reintegration transitional facility in Tirangore Boma (town area) of Torit County, according to UNMISS Torit Civil Affairs Officer Julius Fondong.