Archive for the ‘Education’ Category


By Morris Mabior Awikjokdit,

Early childhood education is an organized form of educational provision for children between the ages of 3 to 6 years old and there is a great need for the government of South Sudan to put much attention in the provision of pre- school across the ten states in the country. Such provision should be made in the form of pre- schools. Pre- schools perform their functions most effectively when they offer an informal type of social and educational experience to very young children, with much of the learning taking place through play. Pre- school learning is transitional between learning in the home and learning in the schools. South Sudan since the last concluded civil war that has resulted into hard won attainment of Independence dependent on foreign syllabuses beginning from unfix ladder right from primary, secondary to university level which is very difficult process in other advance nations like Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and so forth have well established ladder of educational system. Our country South Sudan as a young nation learning to walk need to copy and imitate from her sisterly countries any means possible to address education requirements.

The pre- school can never substitute for the home and it should never imitate the school. By providing children with a large circle of playmates and a wide range of supervision, play activities and learning experiences, pre- schools supplement the extensive learning that occurs in a child’s home and within the home environment. As children approach the age of school entry, their activities at pre- school maybe less spontaneous and more ordered, in preparation for life at school, but purposeful play will still be the main mode of learning. Our high government ranks and files assumed that taking their children to East Africa will bring home quality education but it will never bring any single gradual change as long as their expectations about their children is accomplished than there is no problem for the rest of the children from poor families background.

The significance of education at this level lies in the importance of early experiences in the development of a child’s social, physical, mental and emotional capabilities, and in the role that early childhood education can play in preparing children to adapt to the more formal learning atmosphere of the basic school. This initial education also helps to build up children ‘cultural capital’ and to compensate for disadvantages that they may bring from homes where few reading, writing or other education related materials are found.

At present only a small minority like Equatorians children of South Sudan’s are benefiting and able to profit from foreign education at this level. Up to this stage, they have any problem with both educations, health and physical development process accept some invisible part of the country and this can be digested by wise politicians and philosophers. This is because there are relatively few pre- schools. The majority of these are privately owned and operated though some are run by local councils. All aim to meet their costs through fees which few normal Southern households can afford. In addition most of the pre- schools are found in urban areas like Juba, Yei, Maridi, Wau, Kuajok, Tonj mission, Himango and other parts of the country respectively where the population is large enough to ensure their viability.

Although some rural pre- schools exist, they are few and far between. Because of the associated costs, very few poor children enjoy the benefits of education at this end like the author himself. Because of its urban concentration, it reaches very few rural children. The national ministry of education should encourage the establishment of programmes that support all round early childhood development in South Sudan, particularly those programmes intended for children living in rural and poor urban areas. Within the constraints of available resources it will work to this end with partner state ministries, counties and urban payams, local communities, non- governmental organizations, religious groups, families and individuals.

The Hon. Minister of education should also continue to dedicate some of its resources to this level of education through the training of pre- school teachers, cooperation in the monitoring of pre- school standards, assistance in curriculum formulation and the design of materials, and support for the development of policy guidelines. I am seeing that the ministry of education should recognizes that early childhood education is very beneficial for the development of the child and useful as a preparatory stage for entry into basic or primary school. However, because of the limitations of access, it will not establish pre- school as a condition of a country entering into another phase of civil war and political unrest.

Childhood education policy

The national ministry of education should acknowledge the important role of early childhood education in the multi- dimensional development of young children preparing them to primary education. Within the constraints of available resources the national ministry of education should encourage and facilitate the establishment of pre- school programmes that would reach out to all children especially to those living in rural and poor urban areas. The provision and funding of early childhood education will be the responsibility of councils, local communities, non- governmental organizations, private, individuals and families.

Strategies and mechanisms

The ministry should provide professional services to pre- school education by training teachers for pre- schools, developing curriculum materials for use in pre- schools, and maintaining standards at pre- schools. The ministry should collaborate with providers, partner ministries and others to develop policy guidelines for pre- school and early childhood education.


BY TABAN LO LIYONG

Kenyan intellectuals have never been kind to foreigners of more superlative endowments and achievements.

In the early 1960s Ezekiel (Es’kia) Mphahlele came here and established Chemchemi Cultural Centre.

A leading Kenyan daily editor and a leading Kenyan editor for a foreign publishing house managed to frustrate him and send him packing.

The best artist from South Africa, Selvon Mvusi, with great ideas for the development of art died in West Africa where he had gone for a conference.

His office was broken open and all his papers confiscated by the head of department. Had they been presented to his family, perhaps they would have been donated to the university. Instead an individual grabbed them. And they disappeared. Used up selfishly.

John Ruganda, upon his return from Canada, with a PhD on how Francis Imbuga tells the truth laughingly, was thrown out of Kenya through the machinations, largely, of one Chris Wanjala.

The ground for the action was that he had no work permit to stage a play in Kenya. What was wrong with going to get him a work-permit so that he could train and employ Kenyan actors and actresses? So that he could help develop theatre in Kenya?

Sometime in 1973 or 1974, Okot p’Bitek and I used to be feted by the Goethe Institute, Paa ya Paa Art Gallery, the USIS, British Council, etc.

A NASTY ENCOUNTER

One day after we had read our poems and were drinking the whisky or Tusker with which Franz Nagel entertained us and our followers after work, four of our young Kenyan followers turned nationalistically nasty.

They demanded to know why we were so popular in the cultural circuit of Nairobi. Why should we Ugandans monopolise these houses?

Why were they (Kenyans) being shunned? Why don’t we go back to our country? Okot started driving to Kisumu that very night in his Jaguar. In reverse!

After I had installed Ngugi wa Thiong’o as the head of literature department and realising that my presence was an interference I left for Papua New Guinea and headed a literature department there.

Okot also left for Makerere where he was appointed professor of creative writing.

Of the four Kenyans who gave us our marching orders that night, there was Wanjala, Robert Angira Otieno, Aloo Ojuka, Atieno Odhiambo, and perhaps Robert William Ochieng. (If I got any name wrong, Wanjala can set the record right. He had barked the most that night.)

WHAT WAS THE POINT?

Whenever I pass through Nairobi and find that scholarly publications on literature are increasing in Kiswahili only, I ask myself were we foreigners sent back to our countries because mediocre Kenyan scholars in English literature wanted to perpetrate the literary barrenness?

I do not agree that there are no intellectuals in South Sudan. There is the lawyer, anthropologist, ethnologist and novelist Francis Mading Deng. There is the international jurist Abel Alier.

There is the young autobiographer Steven Wondu and up and coming economist Bure Yongo.

I defy anybody who says The Last Word, Meditations of Taban lo Liyong, Corps Lovers and Corps Haters, Words that Move a Mountain; Ballads of Underdevelopment, Carrying Knowledge up a Palm Tree, Homage to Onyame, an African God, Culture is Rutan, are not intellectually leading products from me in the field of essay-writing, post-modernist novel writing and poetry writing in the whole of Africa.

Meditations ranks among the world’s best 50 post-modernist novels. In the field of essay writing I would rank high, among the world’s first writers, mostly Americans, if any five best essays are rated in communication, persuasion and exploration of new ideas.

I have been modest too long among non-readers, non-experts on literature and writers of students’ guides for secondary schools who call themselves professors.

When Kenyan universities start to insist on published critical works as ground for appointment to associate professorships and professorships then we shall know that the universities have come of age.

But that will not happen when so-called professors gather their shillings from parallel students. Do they lie on top of them, parallel? Or sideways, parallelly?

RWANDA IN THE LEAD

As far as intellectual progress is concerned, I bet on Rwanda giving eastern Africa a lead. Banda Academy did produce exemplary Malawian intellectuals.

The leading economist among them is Prof Thandiwe Mkandawire, the economist who was like me, an African Scholarship Programme of American Universities – scholar, then an American MA and finally an American PhD.

Okot p’Biket is Okot p’Bitek. Taban lo Liyong is Taban lo Liyong. To say “Taban is not as deep as Okot p’Bitek” is no criticism. Has Ochieng read and understood my books?

A critic who is at the same time an intellectual would read them to find out what they are all about. If he still has time he would then read Okot p’Bitek’s books to find out what each is about.

If there is any reason, or need, for comparison or contrast then he could do that on the strength of the corpuses of the two authors.

When I find myself at the age of 77 showing directions about how the scholars should approach my writings to those I had associated within my first year in Nairobi University’s Institute of African Studies, and when I say I am frustrated, then younger scholars laugh at me and my frustrations, as if it is an individual thing, I know that our salvation is still far.

WHO IS READ?

For Ngugi is neither read nor critiqued, Meja Mwangi is not read and assessed; David Mailu is just read; Okot p’Bitek’s Song of Lawino was just read; Okello Oculli is not dismissed, Susan Kiguli is not read nor made a subject of weekend seminars; Tim Wangusa in not read; Imbuga is read as a secondary school textbook.

John Nagenda is not read, Peter Nazareth is not read, Elvania Zirimu is not read, Margaret Ogola is read as a textbook, and Marjorie Oludhe is read as a textbook.

I am only known as the loud mouth who claimed that East Africa is a literary desert!

The article in question is NEVER READ. The text is out of context. My books do not fit in the secondary school curriculum.

The university students are not brought up to the standard that would make them feel at home in the intellectual word that we share with Ayi Kwei Armah, Kwame Nkrumah, Mkandawire, especially about the nature of the western world, and the world.

I am bemoaning all the books that are not read. What texts do our MA and PhD students study so that they produce unpublishable books? I do not know what specialisations the lecturers have for appointments, and promotions.

In this regard, I may be excused if I say university appointment and promotion boards are barren of criteria for selecting the best teachers for Kenyan graduate students.

UNIVERSITIES AND THEIR LOW STANDARDS

So, as an old “prefect” for scholarship, made so by my appointment by VC Arthur Porter in 1969, I am here again to say it is the universities that are maintaining low standards in Kenya (and Uganda, leave alone South Sudan).

Why not, for the next 10 years appoint professor of literature from America, Europe and a few West Africans?

If, like the elephant, I repeat the same stuff, it is because the old stuff keeps on presenting itself before me.

The profit motive, when publishers have fallen prey to profits that killed the Heinemann African Writers series, so that the books that sell the most were produced, those that were not ‘popular’ were discontinued, then be sure Taban’s works would not be republished.

I have asked a reputable East African publisher to reproduce The Last Word. After over 20 years, I have given up. I have brought from London Rex Collings Publishers a copy of Meditations of Taban lo Liyong, he has it by his bedside.

He has had it for more than six months.

Why don’t these our publishers, for every 10 titles that become school textbooks, publish one title to enhance intellectual development in East Africa?

Or why don’t authors and publishers jointly talk to the Ministry of Education to underwite classics to enhance intellectualism in Eastern Africa?

AN INTELLECTUAL LITERARY BREAKTHROUGH

Finally, it may be asked, why am I insisting on making the literary intellectual breakthrough in Kenya?

The simple answer is: Because I invested much intellect in producing intellectual Kenyans, using my best seven years, 1968–1975.

And because, somewhere in my mind I suspect the breakthrough in intellectual self-sufficiency as far as East Africa is concerned will be made in Kenya.

When it is made in Kenya, Uganda will follow, Rwanda will follow, and South Sudan will follow!

At times, instead of behaving like the addressed audiences, the Kenyan hearers seem to think they are interlopers.

Sometimes other Eastern Africans instead of reading themselves into my writings, think I am addressing Ugandans, or Kenyans only; without disciple, I am reduced to throwing my arms in the air and saying those with ears, let then ear.

This article is a part of the response of an interview by Prof William Ochieng (Maseno University). Professor Peter Amuka also wrote a separate response. All the articles first appeared in Daily Nation.

Quality, Partnership and Education Accountability

Posted: October 27, 2014 by PaanLuel Wël in Education, Morris Mabioor

By Morris Mabior Awikjokdit,

When talk about quality education, all learners should be facilitated in the attainment of the highest standards of learning through teaching of excellent quality. Quality is brought about by maximizing the efforts of all those responsible for the education of learners and by coordinating all the structures of the system so that centers of education, from pre- school to university, are places where effective teaching, learning and research take place and where the highest standards of achievement, in accordance with ability, are obtained by every student.

I have an opinion that, the government has abounded duty to promote the highest standard of education and learning for all. This entails giving attention to various interdependent factors, including the quality of curriculum, teaching and assessment, the quality of teachers in schools, schools and institutional arrangements, and planning processes. The government should also develop rigorous procedures for the evaluation of educational effectiveness and outcomes, and with due regard to the legitimate autonomy of individual institutions.

Building education partnership

Building the principle of liberalization and on the creation of enabling environment, the government should follow an education policy that encourages and strengthens partnerships in educational development. A cardinal principle is the acceptance by all parties that the various partners participate by right and not by sufferance in educational provision. To promote this participation, the government needs to create conditions that allow the human, financial and other resources under the control of private and voluntary agencies, communities and religious bodies to be channeled without hindrance into education sector of South Sudan.

The development of a strong commitment to partnership will require improved cooperation among various stakeholders, coupled with better coordination and planning of educational provision. Accordingly, while recognizing the rightful autonomy of individual institutions, the government will promote constructive cooperation that will enhance the welfare of all students.

Education accountability

There are many legitimate competing demands for resources in the country. The amount of money available for education of South Sudan is limited and it require further budgetary plan to be carried out by the Ministry concern to cater full payment of teachers, allowances, accommodation and their capacity building as well. To ensure the best possible use of available resources and allow for full public accountability, the governments require ensuring that effective systems are in place at national, states and counties, and institutional levels for evaluating the effectiveness and efficiency with which resources are used. Accountability measures need more attention to be paid to how well education serves parents, learners and the wider community at large.

The goals of the education system

In the light of what I have mentioned in my earlier article, the national Ministry of education should set for itself the goals of producing a learner capable of being animated by a personally held set of civil moral and spiritual values; developing an analytical, innovative, creative and constructive mind; appreciating the relationship between scientific thought, action and technology on the one hand, sustenance of the quality of life on the other; demonstrating free expression of one’s own ideas and exercising tolerance for other people’s view.

  • Cherishing and safeguarding individual liberties and human rights.
  • Appreciating South Sudan’s ethnic cultures, customs and traditions, and upholding national pride, sovereignty, peace, freedom and independence.
  • Participating in the preservation of the ecosystems in one’s immediate and distant environments
  • Maintaining and observing discipline and hand work as the cornerstones of personal and national development
  1. Increasing access to education and life skills training
  2. Building capacity for the provision of quality education
  3. Creating conditions for effective coordination of policies, plans and programmes.
  4. Rationally resource mobilization and utilization.

These goals will inform the education policies and practices of all partners in educational provision and they will also be the basis for teaching and learning in schools and colleges.

The author is a freelance opinion writer and a professional experience teacher based in Warrap state- Kuajok. He can be reached by email: morrisawikjok@yahoo.com or contact: 0954243501, 0912646306

Principles for the development of education

Posted: October 24, 2014 by PaanLuel Wël in Education

By Morris Mabior Awikjokdit

Education in South Sudan is intended to serve individuals, social and economic well- being and to enhance the quality of life for all. This aim will be guided by the principles of liberalization, decentralization, equality, partnership, and accountability. Liberalization of educational provision entails fundamental changes in power relations within the education sector. Under a liberalized educational system the right of private organizations individuals, religious bodies and local communities to establish and control their own schools and other educational institutions is recognized and welcomed. Liberalization of educational provision allows those with resources to establish such institutions and to run them in accordance with their own principles subject, however, to stipulated rules and regulations. In this way liberalization contributes to expansion of educational opportunities while protecting the right of parents to send their children to educational institutions of their own choice, be they public, private, religious or communal.

Educational decentralization

Decentralization involves the devolution of power from the centre to the local level in states, counties and schools in Bomas and payams. Good pay of teachers in a reasonable scale is part educational decentralization processes that need to be carefully dealt with. It promotes broad based participation in the management of education with great emphasis placed on the creativity, innovation and imagination of the local level of education managers. By allowing various stakeholders to share in decision- making and to take responsibility for education at the local level, decentralization fosters a sense of local ownership and promotes better management. By decentralizing to the local and school levels many of the bureaucratic procedures that currently impede efficiency in the educational system will be eliminated. Government expects that the newly- established education boards will:-

  1. Relieve the Ministry of education of much of the burden of day- to- day business.
  2. Cater for a greater degree of democracy in the management and administration of the system; and
  3. Allow for greater responsiveness to local need.

Equality and equity

I am much quite sure that, every individual (citizen) in South Sudan has a constitutional right to education. Hence, it is a matter of fairness or justice that access to, and participation and benefit in, the education system be available to all. The development of education will therefore seek to promote equality of access, participation and benefit for all in accordance with individual needs and abilities. Measures to promote equality education will include allocating resources to all ten states of South Sudan to those in greatest need providing appropriate support systems, and changing the tangible and intangible qualities of the system itself to cater for the diverse educational needs and interests of the population. It will also include strategies and uniform payment scale of teachers across the nation for the earliest feasible intervention to support children at risk. Parents and their children are in daring need to quality education across the nation as stipulated in the Transitional constitution of the Republic of South Sudan.

The government will ensure that special support measures for such children are developed to enable them to participate in education. Where access, participation and achievement in education are impeded by gender, physical, mental, economic, or social factors, the government should seek to eliminate sources of education disadvantage in order to enhance equity.

The achievement of fairness in education demands that educational policies should value and promote a multifaceted development of the people, taking into account their uniqueness, so that they can fully and rationally participate in the economic cultural and social affairs of society. In all its educational endeavors, the state will aim at making it possible for its citizens to live useful lives, taking into account knowledge and skills appropriate to their age, their social and economic roles, the complexity of the modern world and the social environment in which they lives. Educational policy of South Sudan should deal, therefore, with South Sudan’s cultural and intellectual heritage as well as with knowledge, skills and values that are to be transmitted to future generations. In other words, the concepts of equity in education necessitate the diversification of the curriculum in order to suit different abilities, talents and interests.

The author is a freelance opinion writer and a professional experience teacher based in Warrap state- Kuajok currently in Tonj town for the preparation process of Greater Tonj community conference. You can reach him by email: morrisawikjok@yahoo.com or contact him on 0912646306.


By Morris Mabior Awikjokdit

South Sudan as an internationally recognized state is a liberal democratic society and it should work hard to adopt her national education policy. Dr. Riek Gai Yosh, Minister of Education science and technology is at the right track as wrote by one of the prominent columnist in Juba Telegraph daily English newspaper but I am of the view that more efforts is required for the Minister to pay honorable tour to states so that he can witness himself how education is operating at the grass- root levels. Dr. John Gai is a man who will shape education of South Sudan to the required degree due his bi- literal relations with the foreign countries. With his appointment, there are some gradual changes taking place day and night and more doors have been opened up for scholarship outside the country. That is a very good move Mr. Minister. Hence, it is the values of liberal democracy that must guide the formulation of educational policies and their implementation. The core values of philosophical rational and moral autonomy. Equality, fairness and liberty underpin the concept of a liberal democracy. In this system, the people of the Republic of South Sudan are expected to participate fully and rationally in the affairs of their country.

A basic principle is that their consent is the only legitimate justification for their being governed. In a liberal society, therefore, the state is obliged to protect and promote fundamental human and civil rights, to propound educational policies and aims which focus on nurturing the holistic development of individuals, and to promote the social and economic welfare of society through the provision and renewal of skills, knowledge and competencies necessary for the development of society and the economy of South Sudan.

The philosophical for educational provision is to be informed by these principles which can form the basis for a shared commitment among all partners towards educational development in the country. Clear articulation of the principles for the development of education contribute to establishing the direction such education ought to take. Further, it provides justification and support for resources allocations to educational development in states, counties up to the payam levels. Within this framework, the philosophical rationale for future development of education of South Sudan should be based on three broad- base considerations:-

  1. The role of government in education of South Sudan.
  2. Principles for the development of education policy and practice; and
  3. The aims of the national education system of South Sudan

The role of the government of South Sudan in education

Education is defined in the Transitional constitution of South Sudan 2011 as a right for each individual to learn whether you are young or big. Both ages have equal rights to go to school and learn. It is a mean for enhancing the well- being and quality of life for the entire nation and society. The government’s role in education arises from its overall concern to protect the rights of individuals, promote social well- being and achieve a good quality of life for every person through all embracing economic development. The government must therefore seek to create, promote and support the conditions within which education can realize its potential in society.

The government respects the legitimate interests of various partners in education and supports the distinctive characters of individual schools, colleges and universities. They, in turn, have a corresponding obligation to respect and support the principles and rights upon which a democratic society is based. Because of the centrality of knowledge, skills and technology in shaping the organization and productivity of the economy, education is a productive investment. Since knowledge, skills and technology develop and change so quickly, this investment must be continually renewed.

Individuals must learn continuously throughout their lives acquiring new skills and technologies. The establishment of a liberal economy, in which internal and external competition are central values accentuate dependence on the knowledge and skills of the people and their ongoing access to education. Investment in education, therefore, is of crucial concern in the strongly competitive climate of the modern world. Hence, the government of South Sudan should strongly reaffirms the important role education plays in human resources development as the basis of all other development, it will act therefore, as the watchdog for enhancing the contribution of education and training to economic development and improved social cohesion. There are three major principles that inform the government’s important role in education:-

  1. The government is the custodian of the human rights of all individuals, including their right to education. It’s concern, therefore, will be with how well national education policy and practice promote equality, equity, efficiency, partnership, pluralism, transparency and accountability;
  2. The demands of national development require that the government pay attention to the role education plays in human capital formation, particularly in developing the types of knowledge, skills, values and competencies that are necessary for economic development and social welfare;
  3. Democratization of education, with its demands for partnership in educational provision, requires that the government of South Sudan should create an enabling environment and establishes rules and regulations, that will protect the right of various educational agencies to full and fair participation in educational development.

Conclusion, I would like to apologize to the Editor in Chief and managing Editor of Juba Telegraph daily English newspaper for the promised I gave that I will make a fantastic contribution throughout the week but I have been kept off by Greater Tonj community conference arrangements. The paper should design for me column page for my daily contribution on national education policy of South Sudan.

The author is a freelance opinion writer and a professional experience teacher based in Warrap state- Kuajok. He can be reached by email: morrisawikjok@tahoo.com or contact: 0954243501 


The concern citizen

Universal primary Education: challenges and possible forms to address it (2-2)

By: Morris Mabior Awikjokdit

Education is widely seen as one of the most promising paths for individuals to realize better, more productive lives and as one of the primary drivers of national economic development of South Sudan. The citizens and the government of the Republic of South Sudan should invest heavily in improving both access and quality education, in an effort to realize the promise of education as well as to achieve the education- related millennium development goals and vision by 2020.

The objective of this article is to inform the education managers to develop investment strategy of the government of South Sudan by:

  1. Identifying the key issues facing the education sector of South Sudan.
  2. Suggesting potential solutions based on lessons learned from rigorous quantitative research experience.
  3. Summarizes promising solutions that could be important for education in South Sudan but that may not have enough support from rigorous research and;
  4. Highlighting a subset of proven high impact and cost effective policies that could boost the productivity of the education sector.

The potential solutions are based on evidence drawn from rigorous quantitative experience, and in particular on randomized evaluations, which would provide the most reliable evidence on what works and what does not work in increasing access to quality education across the country.

Another major challenge that has imposed multiple threats to successful implementation of the universal primary education scheme is lack of proper planning on part of national Ministry of education and the entire states. One of the factors responsible for the improper planning is faulty census exercises and lack of quick of quick educational managers. Almost all the census exercises carried out so far under Sudan government during the interim period have been marred with massive irregularities by Khartoum miscalculation (April 2008) fifth population and Housing census.

The Sudan fifth population and housing census exercise has always raised political hysteria against Southerners leading to hyper inflation of census figures under estimating Southern civil population in low average of 4 million people, which make it impossible to know the exact figures for school population in the Republic of South Sudan. What this means that the national population census that is supposed to provide reliable data for planning and implementation has always been politicized with its attendant wrong figures.

This inadequacy in term of population data has also affected the provision of instrumental materials such as textbooks, laboratory equipments, audio-visual materials, etc. which in themselves constitute another major challenge to successful implementation of the South Sudan universal basic education (SSUBE) programme. Many of the schools do not have these materials and where available in some part of the country as if South Sudan device two or three genesis of education system. Other regions of the country have been subjected to poor educational system and others are enjoying to full of their satisfactions otherwise there is great need to unify this distorted controversial system. They are inadequate and out dated system. The overall problem regarding general inadequacy of infrastructure, teaching materials and amenities in the Southern states educational system is to be well captured.

From the foregoing can be seen that the drop-out rate depicts the level of access to education by the South Sudanese children, which by implication betrays the universalization of education in the young nation. Many reasons have been adduced for inadequate access to education, which includes costs of schooling (cost of books, equipments, and uniform, tuition and examination fees) illness, poverty and economic benefits of education.

KEY ISSUES FACING UNIVERSAL FREE PRIMARY EDUCATION

I am of the view that, key issues facing universal free primary, secondary and vocational education in the Republic of South Sudan includes number of things. While issues pertaining to early childhood education and tertiary education are also important, but, we do not includes these in the policy review process as there is limited rigorous evidence on the low effectiveness of various policy options in these sectors.

While the free universal primary education (FUPE) program has not increased to primary education especially among poorer house-hoods, ancillary costs of primary education (such as school uniforms) continue to hinder the educational attainment many children. In addition, the provision of quality education remains a challenge. This was clearly indicated in previous and recent Annual education census (AEC 2010-2012) which disappointing levels of learning among primary school children.

The continued and consistent dominance of foreign private schools in the primary leaving certificate examinations has further raised concerns about the rising disparity in quantity between public and private schools. Foreign domination has taken average lead in whatever public existing institutions from national to the grass- root level.

As students from richer families increasingly enroll in private primary schools, designing policies that address the achievement gaps in public primary schools will overwhelmingly benefit students from poorer families that are unable to access private schools.

The author is a freelance opinion writer and a professional experience teacher based in Warrap state- Kuajok and currently in Juba for an official visit. He can be reached by email: morrisawikjok@yahoo.com or contact: 0954243501, 0912646306


The concern citizen

Universal primary Education: challenges and possible forms of addressing it (1-1)

By: Morris Mabior Awikjokdit

Education has variety of definitions as I mentioned earlier one of its definitions in my recent Article; let me give you another definition in relation to the content of today topic. Education, defined as a permanent change in behavior as a result of learning process, consist of all efforts (conscious or incidental) made by a society to accomplish objective which are considered to be desirable to the country instead of relying on foreign education.

This is in terms of the individual as well as the societal needs. In all human societies, particularly the modern ones, Education therefore remains one of the most powerful instruments for both the development of man and transformation of the human society. However, the efficacy of quality Education as an instrument of transformation depends entirely on how the government manages the project meant for the upliftment of the Education system. In this Article, I will outline few challenges facing the establishment of Universal basic Education project is to be examined while it also proffers solutions to meet the challenges.

All over the world, primary Education has been regarded as the most important step as well as the most patronized by people. This perhaps may be due to the fact that, it is the foundation of the whole educational pursuit, which is expected to provide literacy and enlightenment to the citizen. The importance to establish universal education in South Sudan is therefore, to be seen in the sense that all beneficiaries of the other levels of education by necessity have to pass through this stage.

What this means is that primary education of South Sudan be defined as the education given in an institution for children below age of (7-17) years plus constitutes the bedrock upon, which the entire education system is to be built. Indeed, the success and failure of the entire education system of South Sudan lies in our own hands and will be determined by it and it is at the heart of the concept of basic universal education as defined as universalization of access to education.

Recognizing the importance of our own primary education system of the Republic of South Sudan, all governments in Juba and in states (past and present) should place premium on it by making primary education the centre piece of their educational policies instead of starting it from the top of the tree, they should first establish the base and lay a strong foundation. This will also minimize our children going to East Africa in search for quality universal primary education. It is more expanses for us South Sudanese in terms of transportation, accommodation, feeding and paying of school fees. This wrong concept imposed on South Sudan education system has also distorted our economic position as a nation.

Since, the colonial period therefore, both colonial and currently independent governments in South Sudan and states failed to institute one form of educational reform instead of relying on both Sudan and East Africa syllabuses. Where South Sudan is unified curriculum? If South Sudan has unified curriculum? How many years for primary, Secondary and university? Children are confused with new system to be adopted by South Sudan. This has resulted to closure of Kuajok secondary school in Warrap state because students were told that, they go up to fourth year secondary and sit for national exams of secondary education.

This indicates that there is no different between the past and present in the Educational development of the Republic of South Sudan. That is the country’s historical antecedents have impact on how educational policies are formulated and implemented starting from the colonial era up to the present time.

The Anglo- Egyptian condominium rule based education on Islamization and Arabization through the influence of Khartoum based government. British came in through Comboni missionaries and Arabic was still imposed and taught in “Klawas”, which consists of primary, secondary, sixth from as well as higher education. However, the Islamic education had been spread in all Southern regions as the official language for the whole of Sudan before the Juba conference of 1947.

In this conference Southern Sudanese resolved and opted to join East African community and unified the educational system. The colonial administration, before independence of Sudan in 1956 both administered the then Southern education through the use of education ordinance, their education privacy, and their education policies based on sharia law and intended pure marginalization.

The objective of this opinion piece of Article, therefore, is to theoretically, identify the challenges facing the establishment of universalization of education at the primary level in South Sudan and to suggest the way forward. Dr. Riek Gai Yosh, Minister of education science and technology should look into lying of strong foundation instead of starting foundation at the top. He has done with secondary and he has done with public universities and you need to look behind yourself sir. Quality education is not quality secondary school or Quality University but education is quality primary school.

In order to achieve this objective, there is an urgent need to renovates Tonj Institute of Education in Tonj town, Malakal and Maridi, so that standard of teachers had to be upgraded because the present teaching is the recruitment made during the before and after signing the post comprehensive peace agreement (CPA). They are lacking skills of teaching like teaching methods, making scheme of works and breakdown of lesson plans into teachable units and terms. The evolution of universal education in South Sudan, its challenges and provided suggestions for the way forward.

THE CHALLENGES OF THE SOUTH SUDAN BASIC EDUCATION (SSUBE) PROGRAMME

South Sudan in the history of liberation struggle failed defines her own guiding principles and policies of its educational system and any way it has some made break through. To review the policy of New Sudan educational system and make critical comparison is beyond reasonable doubt. The national ministry of education did not take off at the same time in states of the Republic South Sudan and that has contributed to the failure of what type of education to be adopted. The implications of this are that its full assessment may be too early, considering the time it actually took off at the state levels. However, as young as the scheme is some of the challenges it is facing, both national and state levels are obvious.

The national parliament failure over, ability to allocate enough funds for a programme remains the greatest challenge that a programme can be achieved. This is also the case with the funding of primary education in South Sudan. It is evident that the national government has not spent up to 25% of its total budget on education in the last years of both interim and present Transitional periods of interrupted democracy by senseless war of Riek Machar and his groups.

The author is a freelance opinion writer and a professional experience teacher based in Warrap state- Kuajok currently in Juba for an official visit. For more information and comments, you can reach by email: morrisawikjok@yahoo.com or contact Awikjokdit son on the following: 0954243501, 0912646306