The doom and the Gloom of Education in South Sudan
By: Daniel Abushery Daniel
"Rise for the teacher in glorification The teacher is more like a Prophet ". (unofficial translation from an Arabic poem).
While I might not be the first to highlight the debate on the importance of education in South Sudan, I am emulous to emphasize that for our young nation to develope, progress, prosper and ultimately becomes a stronger country we all hope to live in, it's vital that education must be the top pirority of level of government in South Sudan, because education is and always will be the center piece and the corner stone, if there is to be hope for a civilized nation on our soil. Indeed, as a teacher's son, I felt as though, if I didn't write this piece about the importance of education to be a part of our nation building process, I would be commiting a crime against human civilization and prosperity of our cherished homeland.
Further more, the value of education in the third millennium and in the 21st century has become a supply and demand of globalization. It's no longer like the way it once was use during my father's and my grandfather's time, both of whom were teachers. They did there very best even when the resources and the understading were very limited as suppose to how they are today in an era of oil revenues. So what excuese does our generation have not to do more for education? The obvious answer is none, whatsoever.
A flash back at the old times, it was very difficult to enroll children in the schools systems, due to the relentless resistance of student's families, that the process was only possible through Chiefs and sub-chiefs and only under certain conditions that: if you have more than one child, the school will enroll only one and the rest will remain home helping the family to look after cattleís , stock breading, or with cultivating the farms, etc.
South Sudan's youngters never really enjoyed the fruit of stability since the so called Independence, due to engagement in civil wars from 1955-2005. But if someone may say that: what about the ten-year- break of Addis Ababa accord? Well, I have also discussed that in my previous piece in (Gurtong) and (South Sudan nations) webs titled: why south Sudan must go? A cry for Justice.Whatever that progress might be, it was cut short when the war erupted yet again in 1974, after the Sudan government has laid off the returnees from the bushes. This period did not create only a generational gap, but itís created a huge vacuum of illiteracy of which we are paying its price to this very day.
Simply, the point I am trying to make here is that, with all these resources, and the type of government that we are enjoying, shipping basic education schools over seas to Kenya, Uganda, Europe and else where in the globe is a big epidemic and a disaster for the future of our kids in particular, and South Sudan nation in general, for a host of reasons: firstly, is a waver to our rich cultures, traditions, and customs that we are proud of, and adopt the western civilization, which is a culture shock for our immigrants' children, just to mentioned the few. And believe me, a country without all what I mentioned above is doom.
It's a matter of fact that most of the families can not afford to support their children to study abroad, due to the difficulties of cost of living, and school fees, which- in must cases- are very expensive and out of reach even for upper incomes, leave alone the vast majority poor population, who are living in country side, and rural areas in southern Sudan. Therefore, I urge the government of South Sudan(GOSS) to bring back home all institutions that were funded by the government, to be a part of the nation building.
Unfortunately,for some politicians, business men, and individual who in the past have sent their children abroad, the survey shows that most of them, for one reason or another, they didnít achieve their goals, which makes it a waste of money and other resources that could have been spent right here at home.
In conclusion, I am not against the idea of studying abroad, especially for those who can afford to do so, but what am against is spending of the Government's fund for basic education that can be restored in the country Ďfrom kindred garden to high school levelsĒ, and all children can benefit together in all ten southern states, with less expenditures while at the sametime avoiding the doom and gloom of education, which is certainly the foundation of the nation.
The author is a Criminal Justice graduate, and can be reached at
http://au.mc519.mail.yahoo.com/mc/[email protected], or