Emelda Meling Eluzai is an English teacher at a vocational school in southern Sudan.
I was here in southern Sudan during the war. Girls did not expect to perform well at school. But in 1998 I sat for the Sudan school certificate and I passed. Then I was taken to Khartoum for university studies, and I graduated in 2002.
When I came back, life was still not good. I was appointed as a teacher in Juba Technical school in 2004. I was the only female teacher here among the men, and I found life difficult.
At that time, the school wasn't like it is now. There was a war on, and at that time there were no salaries. We had some materials for teaching, but they were not up to date.
During the war there were many difficulties with education. When you were teaching, you saw that children's minds were outside. They were thinking about how they were going eat and what to do. Their minds were full of other things.
After the war, life began to change. The school was rebuilt, and I started enjoying my work. We have a machine for photocopying, and I can photocopy a passage and distribute it to the class. We also have computers.
But girls here still have a lot of problems. Some drop out of school. Perhaps their parents don't have enough money, so they prefer to keep the girls at home. Or even if they do come to school, at the end of the day they have to go to the market, buy food and start cooking.
Soon southern Sudan is going to become a new country. I think there will be a lot of changes with our girl students. I have started a girls' club at the school to help them with their problems. We will have new technologies, and girls will come to know the importance of education.