Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Apply To Be A Banaa Scholar

Applications for the 2014-2015 cycle are now OPEN! The link to the updated application can be found below. The deadline for this year’s application is NOVEMBER 5, 2014 AT 12:00 AM EST. 

To apply, you must complete the first four pages of the “Common Application” (found at as well as  the Banaa Supplemental Application. We are currently accepting applications from now up to November 5, 2014.

Eligibility          Admissions Process          Waivers          Submitting Applications

Banaa works hard to generate an ethnically, politically, and economically diverse pool of young women and men who are exceptionally qualified for studies at US colleges and universities.

Download the Banaa Scholarship Application


Potential applicants for the scholarship must fulfill the following criteria:

  • Come from a conflict-affected region of Sudan or South Sudan and be under the age of 26
  • Possess a genuine interest in building a peaceful Sudan and South Sudan
  • Demonstrate a history of participation in peace-promoting activities
  • Have documentation of secondary school graduation or proof of an equivalency degree
  • Display competency in English and the ability to score well on a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) (actual test score not required)
  • Write English-language responses to a series of essay questions
  • Provide letters of recommendation, including contact details, from individuals who can comment on applicant’s suitability for the program (former teachers and/or employers are preferred)
  • Be able to come to the U.S. by August 1, 2015 for program orientation

Does Banaa accept candidates who live in or grew up in the United States or Europe?

While we greatly appreciate the commitment of Sudanese Diaspora to improving life in the Sudans, our limited resources enable us only to support students coming directly from the Sudans (or refugee situations in neighboring countries) at this time. This policy is in place to ensure Banaa Scholars (1) have recent and intimate experience with policy challenges facing the Sudans and (2) return promptly to Sudan to begin work.

What if I am over 26 years old, and/or have a University degree? Can I still apply?

While applications are considered on a case-by-case basis, applicants should ideally be under 26 years old and possess no prior university degrees. Exceptions will be considered on a case by case basis, but these guidelines are to ensure that Banaa Scholars are in early stages of shaping their careers and close to the average undergraduate age at the universities they attend.

The Banaa Team and the University Admissions Process

All applications for the Banaa scholarship program are first submitted to the Banaa Team, which is comprised of a number of individuals from the Banaa Board of Advisors. Applicants are then evaluated holistically using the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated Commitment to Peace in Sudan and/or South Sudan
  • Academic Achievement
  • Relevant Employment
  • English Language Proficiency
  • Essay Quality
  • Interview
  • Leadership Experience

It is important to note that the Banaa Selection Committee does not employ a formula based admissions process. Applications are not assigned point values, but instead read cover to cover and given a comprehensive review. Moreover, neither race nor ethnicity is used to determine admission. During the comprehensive review, however, it is noted when applicants from economic or socially disadvantaged positions have exhibited character and determination in overcoming both personal and structural obstacles.

Applications are reviewed by the Banaa Team to ensure they are complete. Applicants with potential are submitted to the Banaa Board of Advisors for review. Banaa submits the most promising applicants with a cover letter highlighting the Board of Advisors’ comments to the George Washington University and University of Rochester’s undergraduate admissions offices. Both offices complete an independent review and rank admissible candidates. A Skype interview will be conducted with the top applicants. An admissions decision will be made and the applicant(s) who is admitted will be notified by late February.  Candidates must accept their scholarship by April 1 If they fail to accept their scholarship by this date an alternative candidate will be notified and accepted into the program. It is expected the accepted scholar is diligent about making travel arrangements (the cost of the flight to the US is included in the scholarship) and be available to come to the United States as early as August 1, 2015 for orientation.


Given the extenuating circumstances under which many applicants live or grew up, SAT and TOFEL scores are often unavailable. Students who do present these scores may be more competitive in the admissions process, but ability to provide such documentation is not required. Banaa encourages candidates to provide a cover letter explaining why you are unable to access TOEFL or SAT scores.


To apply, you must complete the “Common Application”along with the Banaa Supplemental Application. Instructions for required application materials are on the first page of the Banaa Supplemental application. Complete applications and application materials  can be emailed to,  or printed out and mailed to: c/o Kevin Hostetler

The George Washington University

2121 I Street, NW Suite 201

Washington, DC 20052

Applications are currently OPEN. Please direct any specific questions to

Click HERE to go the site:

By Apioth Mayom Apioth, USA

africa colonies map

There has never been a better time than now to return to our African linguistic roots. The 1884’s Scramble for Africa (also called Partition of Africa) brought us unforeseen divisions and rivalries whereby we are explicitly known as Francophone, Lusophone, Anglophone, and Italophone, respectively. At any given moment, whether it is a conflicting issue that needs resolution, African states leaning toward the axis of Anglophone orientation gang up against the Francophone, or it could be Afrolusophone versus Afroitalophone, muddling it up over matters of economic interests.

It is not a question of whether we are enriching the European languages with our ingenuity, rather it is a call to put our authenticity in perspective that we will never discover our true genius by continuing to use other people’s languages. We could still enrich foreign languages by way of translation; a true literary work of genius could get noticed at any instance the word is out. Literary works, such as Camara Laye’s The Dark Child, Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, Wole Soyinka’s Death and the King’s horseman, and Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s Weep Not, Child, are exceptionally rare works of intelligence.

Indeed, those are true gems of literature, but could they have done more, or how come they stopped from there? To put it another way: Was their ingenuity complete, or was it in fragments? What if there are still some undiscovered geniuses lingering in the hades of the unfamiliarity with these foreign languages?

When Europe was mired in a debacle of the dark ages, they didn’t have the enlightening period called the Renaissance, until they discarded Latin. For an African Renaissance to take off, going back to our native languages is the first step towards launching a dawn of a new era. Our native languages are rich with a burgeoning tradition of progress; for no matter how tempest the foreign languages they maybe, we do not have a deep understanding of their sly ways. We have an exuberant attachment to our native languages, almost spiritual.

That connection makes it easy for us to wade through impossibilities, and, in the midst of this scuffle, our languages and us, have fused into one thing, becoming inseparable over time. It is not just our genius that we are trying to unearth from our native languages, myths, fables, and even, knowledge of ecosystems and species of both plants and animals, and their interactions with our domiciling environments, could all be lost if we do not come up with a swift answer to this nagging hurdle. Every once in a while, a scientist would appear and state, I have discovered this species of plant, and I have discovered that species. What these scientists always avoid to take into account before rushing to publications of their discoveries, is failing to ask the indigenous communities if they knew anything about the species in question.

It turns out that most of the time, the names of the species of plants and animals, they are belatedly discovering were already commonplace in the local languages of the said communities. Not only that, many of today indigenous communities have the ability to derive certain medicines and medicinal herbs from the varied wild species of plants and animals, they have been interacting with for centuries in their ecosystem milieu.

In the foreseeable future, it is predicted that global cultures and languages that encompass national borders are going to take center stage. As times goes on, more and more languages, are going to bow to pressures of the most influential languages. Many more languages are going to disappear altogether from the face of the earth. Language as a medium to carry one culture from one pocket of the globe to another cultural hub, is going to be more prominent than ever. And since we have no idea of where the next hegemonic, all conquering languages, are going to hail from, shouldn’t we put our house in order right now, before the sun calls it a day?

This is where our return to our native languages comes shouting hard on our necks. Our native languages were taken only for a ride by the imperial capitalist West. They were only taken for a nightmarish ride up to the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, but they were eventually returned to us, changed, and needing a new system of mothering. The reservoirs of our native languages are still wet, they haven’t entirely been laid to waste by the poisonous fangs of the European languages. All they yearn for is the constant nourishment by the beloved sons and daughters of the continent.

Our world is increasingly becoming smaller, and all we have to do is to return to something so familiar, something we have all known along, but have neglected for far too long, our mother tongues; be it a Dinka of South Sudan, Shona of Zimbabwe, or Yoruba of Nigeria; We call for something that has our authenticity written all over it; something that will carry our unique experience to the world stage. It is time to wake up our hibernating and graying native languages from the chambers of our granaries, where the termites have been eating their way into their hearts for quite some time now.

Once the world finally succumbs to the common phrase called the “global village,” it would not be our interest to gloat over how much we have achieved as a race, rather, our humble preoccupation would be to contribute our unique experience to the global plate; where it would be intended to improve the futuristic aspirations of mankind. Our world is always ever-changing, and we are always in need of ingenuity to rescue us from moments of frustration, even experiences of life and death. It is time to invest more of our effort and resources into our native languages, entities that hold sacred followings, in a sense, analogous to the spiritual attachment of the land of Africa itself.

In case, we fail to pay heed to this urgent call, we won’t have much to contribute to the betterment of mankind since we will only be playing on unfamiliar grounds of the European languages, which are bound to produce second-rated ingenuity, if there is a boon at all.

Durham – Visiting Scholars – Sudans – 2014-15

Classroom Discipline and Management in South Sudan

Posted: February 27, 2014 by PaanLuel Wël in Education

By Morris Mabior Awikjokdit

“A school can be regarded as a social institution, and important one for that matter. As an institution, it has to have certain basic regulations  governing, controlling   and directing the behavior of its members the majority  of whom are pupils”.

In such a setting discipline is important, since without it the purpose of the school cannot be achieved effectively. Discipline implies control, without which there would be anarchy and chaos and learning would not take place effectively. The problem of discipline is not new in our system of Education in South Sudan and Africa in general. Pupil’s defy   the teacher’s authority, thus creating a state of tension and hostility.

To begin with as an experience trained professional teacher, it is appropriate that we identify the causes that necessitate discipline. There are several causes and therefore I will attempt to discuss a few to the knowledge of my experience. Misbehavior in school and the classroom may originate in the child himself, the  school, the society,  the child’s parents or the teachers.

The child

A number of child-related factors may be responsible for pupil’s misbehavior in class. First, he may well have been raised to behave in ways which are not congruent with the behavior expected of him at school .It is also common for a child to misbehave in order to conform to peer expectations and avoid rejection.

Frustration’s at home or at school may result to misbehavior, as may the approval and recognition a pupil receives from his peers for challenging the teacher’s authority. .Misbehavior such as cheating in tests may be motivated by the desire to avoid making mistakes and being punished.

The home

A child who does not receive love and good care from his parents is likely to have no respect for them and may well extend this perception of adults to all the other figures of authority in his life, including his teachers and school itself. Often parents are unable to control their children, who transfer their way of relating at home to the school situation.

It also happens that a problem being experience by his parents, child becomes too preoccupied with problems at home, for example the marital problems being experience by his parents, can make him unable to concentrate at school and as a result transgresses school regulations. A child’s behavior may also be affected by his parents’ economic status. For example, he may sometimes miss school in order to do some form of domestic work to help supplement their income.

Parents themselves may foster misbehaviors by their children. Often they interfere in what the teacher is doing and refuse to allow their children to be punished, irrespective of what they have done. Some parents criticize the teachers in front of their children telling him/ her, what he or she may and may not do. Obviously parents must have a say in the way their children are taught and treated, but it would be in their best interest  to trust that  teachers knows what they are doing, and to refrain from interfering  in their work unless they do something really outrageous.


Society too must bear its share of the responsibility for the misbehavior of children at school. What happens at school is merely a reflection of what is going on in society. Through the media, children are exposed to violence and see their peers and adults defying authority. They model such behavior and apply it to their relationships with other children at school and with the school itself.

The School

For various reasons school may also be a source of lack of discipline and misbehavior among   children. Some of the school rules and regulation may not only be rigid and strict, but also punitive and unnecessary, in my opinion.

If the classes are large and crowded, it is difficult for the teachers to maintain control. Undesirable behavior on the part of children in such classes may well be the result of them   being uncomfortable and therefore unable to concentrate. Misbehavior in this context may actually be a way of releasing tension.

Inadequate supervision of the pupils during break period may give the older, stronger pupils the opportunity  to  bully   others.  Another factor affecting discipline in school is the authority vested in the teacher. In some schools, certain disciplinary measures may be administrated by the head teacher only. Teacher is the only person with limitations on his time, and it will be too much to expect him to cope  with all the disciplinary problems in school.

The Teacher;

Teachers seldom acknowledge their culpability for disciplinary problems. The blame is usually laid on pupils and their parents who did not bring them up properly! However, teachers can cause children to misbehave as a result of the way in which they interact with them at school particularly in the classroom.

Some teachers have very little regard for pupil’s feelings and ridicule, belittle and humiliate them, which does not contribute to the establishment of a positive relationship between the teacher and his pupils. A teacher cannot expect his pupils to like and respect him in my opinion, since he  knows  no other method of disciplining children expect through corporal punishment.

Furthermore some teachers come to class unprepared, late or improperly dressed, which is unlikely to engender respect for them among their pupils.

Some teachers use the classroom as a platform for destructive criticism of the pupils’ parents and culture believing  themselves to have some sort of immunity with regard to arousing the children’s resentment.

Teachers can also contribute to disciplinary problems in the classroom by giving their pupils assignments that are too difficult for them, being unable to answer their questions satisfactorily, or setting unreasonable and flexible deadlines for assignments and having groups of favored and disliked pupils.

How to maintain discipline in the classroom

In an attempt to  identify some of the origins of classroom discipline problems, I will now focus on how in my opinion  the issue of discipline can be maintained in a classroom in the process of teacher-pupil interactions.

The teacher must make it clear what the objective of his lesson is, so that pupils can approach it in a purposeful way, with the aim of achieving certain goals. The work pupils are given should neither be too easy nor too difficult for them. If the work is too easy, the pupils will probably consider it a waste of time and an insult to their intelligence, but if it is too difficult, they are likely to experience failure and frustration and ultimately, to give up. In either case, inappropriate behavior is likely to occur. Moreover, the teacher’s preparation for his lesson can result in improvements in classroom management.

A teacher who is well prepared exudes a sense of self-confidence, and his pupils will perceive him or her as being well organized. It is imperative that new teachers or teachers who are working with new class, over prepared rather than underprepared. The pupils will realize that there is a great deal to do and   therefore they have no time to waste. They will also feel that their time is considered valuable and that the teacher is in control.

Whatever is being taught, the lesson should be presented in such a manner that pupil’s interest will be aroused and sustained for the duration of the period. It is also essential that, with assignment, pupils should be given clear instructions as to how they should proceed. Their progress must be monitored and individual questions should be attended to as they work on the assignment. The teacher should not consider this to be  spare time for sitting in the staff room or knitting or reading a newspaper.

A person’s name signifies his identify and most pupils find it satisfying to know that a person as important as a teacher knows them by name. Therefore a teacher should learn his pupil’s names as quickly as he can. This is likely to make them feel positively about him and that they are welcome in his class. Having learned their names, the teacher should make a point of using them as often as possible to ensure that he does not forget them, for example when greeting them, talking to them or asking them to do something.

The teacher and pupils should collaborate in drawing up a set of rules regarding what is expected of the pupils in class. These rules should be kept to a minimum and should be workable, reasonable and clear. The teacher should discuss any  violation of the rules calmly with the pupils concerned in order to find out what caused it. He should be prepared to listen  to the pupils and show an interest in their learning and success. He should intervene to help pupils as soon as he can, and praise them where such reinforcement is warranted. If criticism is necessary, it should be aimed at the offence rather than the pupil as a person.

A teacher should be known for or strive for the following qualities: friendliness and firmness, competence and a positive self-concept. In dealing with pupils he should be both reasonable and fairly consistent and should give them the impression that he knows what he is doing. This is especially important when a teacher starts working with a new class.

Finally, at all times the teacher must show that he is in charge, competent, confident and prepared for the lesson, and act in a professional and business like yet, pleasant and supportive manner. In my opinion, teachers who are competent, organized, and well-prepared will have fever management and discipline problems. It is also  my opinion that, teachers who are able to minimize the management and discipline problems tend to be successful in their teaching.

Dealing with misbehavior;

Despite taking the preceding  precautions , a teacher could still find himself dealing with a situation where preventive measures have failed   and he must take some sort of action concerning  undesirable  behavior on the  part of the pupil. There are several ways of dealing with such situations in my opinion, and I attempt to discuss a few It is my believe  that  reprimanding  a pupil privately is more effective than doing so publicly. Better still the teacher could discuss the misbehavior with the pupil at an appropriate time. The pupil is likely to take heed of this courteous warning.

If a pupil does not do or complete an assignment and the teacher’s attempts to change this behavior are unsuccessful, he should bring the problem to the attention of the head teacher or   the parents of the pupil or better still the school counselor.

I wish to suggest a number of ways in dealing with classroom problems;

If for instance a  pupil misbehave  during lesson, the teacher may take one  of the following strategies.

(a) Give the pupils a long hard look to show that you are not happy with what he/she is doing and the sooner he/she stops doing it the better.

(b) Simply draw the pupil’s attention to the undesirable behavior.

(c) Command the pupil to pay attention to what is going on.

(d) Draw the attention of the misbehaving pupil to that of a pupil who is    behaving   appropriately.

(e) Ignore the behavior and praise the positive behavior.

I also believe that the teacher can maintain discipline by moving in the direction of a misbehaving pupil without stopping what he is doing. Undesirable behavior would also be brought  under  control  simply by asking the pupil concerned a relevant question.

Troublesome students may be made  to sit  in the front row where the teacher can keep an eye on them. Where the teacher detects tension and a state of restlessness among the class, he should find out whether the pupil need help with their work and give it where possible. Otherwise he may crack a joke to release the tension.  Various   minor  misbehavior such as an occasional whisper or the passing of a note should be ignored, since they are not worth worrying about.


Punishment as you may know means being  subjected  to a painful stimulus or having a pleasant one removed due to engaging in undesirable behavior.. Punishment in school may take the form of suspension, corporal punishment, manual work, expulsion, isolation, detention after school and being deprived of certain privileges. The types of misbehavior for which punishment may be justifiably be administered  in my opinion are disrespect for teachers or authority, fighting, vandalism, missing classes, failing to do assignments, making a noise in the class and not paying attention in class.

Punishment is used world-wide as a means of controlling undesirable behavior though in some parts of the world it is used extensively and freely, partly because there are no legal measures in existence to restrain its use, particularly in the form of corporal punishment.. Indeed the way in which some teachers interact with their pupils makes the classroom a war zone. The use of punishment is a controversial issue, with some psychologists   arguing in its favor and others arguing for its banning.

The focus of the controversy is the use of corporal punishment and server forms of punishment. My believe is  that,  the  best policy regarding corporal punishment is to avoid it all together.

It is widely argued that the use of corporal punishment is not an effective means of controlling  undesirable  behavior,  and    its   effect do  not justify its use. From experience   punishing  a child physically can cause the child to develop hatred for  school, the teachers and learning in general. In some cases it may lead to absenteeism or dropping out of school altogether. Although I don’t personally endorse the use of corporal punishment but it well be naive to believe that it has no place in the maintenance of discipline.

In my opinion if  punishment in whatever form is felt to be necessary and justifiable one needs to put the following factors into consideration when administering it.

i.  Ensure punishment be used rarely, sparingly and as a last resort.

ii.  Before a pupil is being punished he should be told why he is being punished.

iii.  Punishment should be administered as soon as an offence is committed so that a link is made between the offence and the punishment.

iv.  A teacher   should not administer corporal punishment when he is very angry or upset, since he is likely to be too server and inclined to appease his own anger.

v.  If the punishing a child is likely or make him a hero before his classmates or lead to defiance then the punishment should be postponed and administered where it is not likely to have such an effect.

vi.  Once the offender has been punished, he should not be given the impression that he no longer merits the teachers love and care.

Therefore, I am with the opinion that the teacher should look for desirable behavior for which the pupils learning can be reinforced.


The school is a social institution entrusted with the responsibility of containing and supplementing the process of socialization which begins  at home. As an institution, the school has to have rules and regulations which facilitate socialization and effective learning.

As there are discipline problems in society, so there are discipline problems at school, which is part of society. These discipline problems have their origins in society itself, the home, school  and  the  teachers .The role of teachers in controlling problems originating outside the school is rather limited. On the other hand, they are capable of influencing pupils’ behavior as they interact with them on the school premises and  in the classroom ,therefore in my opinion teachers can facilitate discipline and classroom management by seeing that their pupils are well treated, ensuring that they are prepared for their lessons and present them in an interesting and professional manner.

Although the use of  punishment has  its role in maintaining discipline in class, the emphasis should  be on reinforcing positive behavior and ignoring minor misbehavior. Where punishment is necessary, it should .be used with care so that pupils are not injured or made to hate school so much that they decide to quit school altogether. It should also be borne  in mind that children can learn and behave in accordance with the school regulations and in society at large without being subjected  to severe forms of punishments.

The author of this Article is a freelance opinion writer and a professional experience teacher based in Warrap State- Kuajok. He can be reached by email: 


South Sudanese Elites and Illiterate in their Twin Objectives, A nation Bleeds by Herself

By Garang Atem

Two decades of war eroded social progress, institutions and torn tribal cohesion in the country. The independence of July 2011 provided an opportunity for the people of South Sudan to ripe what is commonly known as ‘dividends of peace’ – social services, security, development and peace.

The event of December 2013 has halted the flow of social services and redirected the resources and manpower of the conflicting parties to war – an expensive affair that is causing immense damage to weak social infrastructure, systems and development programs that were initiated during and after the interim period of Comprehensive Peace Agreement.

Already the death toll is high and outflow of refuges to neighboring countries and displaced camps is at its highest since peace was signed in 2015. The war is on and the destruction is unfortunately done and continues to be done. Since independence in July 2011, the country has witnessed various forms of rebellion that resulted in loss of lives, and property. However what is critical is the scale of destruction, the nature of destruction and the forms.

On many occasions, government forgave the insurgents; reward them with government positions and integrate them into the national army and in some cases; resources were mobilized towards peace conferences and seminars. All these efforts were noble but have not brought stability as an end envisaged product nor reduced the impact of criminal activities on the citizens.

The key problem facing South Sudan is an education access gap. When missionaries came in 19th century, much of what is currently making up South Sudan was inhabited by pastoralists’ communities whose lives entirely depended on hunting, animal husbandry, traditional farming and wild fruits gathering.

All these forms of economic activities required to some extend a degree of hostility – a true survival for the fitness. As result of this life setup, children and cattle raiding became the central form of commercial activities. During the war, between 1983 – 2005, the traditional form of commercial competitiveness took a new twist as weapons enhance enterprisation of criminal activities.

This led to high scale of economic and social destruction which further widen the social cohesion gap between communities. The animosities of war and enterprisation of criminal activities were imported to the new political and socioeconomic dispensation in South Sudan after independence.

For over two decades of war, there has never been a formal education system for South Sudanese, during and after interim period, the government priorities has been centered around security, governance and institutions’ creation leaving education at the periphery.

In reality, South Sudanese citizens are largely the same pastoralists of the yesteryears. However, two things have changed; enterprisation of criminal activities has increase as result of weaponry, and pursuit of ‘twin objectives’; power by educated elites and petty robbing by the illiterate citizens.

The twin objective hypothesis has in part united communities to jointly pursue criminal and inhumane commercial enterprises. While the elites fight for power and money, the illiterate and vulnerable are available for mobilization with an aim to revenge the old misdeeds and loot.

The pursuit of twin objectives by different interest groups within a community and wide spread of weapons are the main cause for inhumane and heavily destruction happening in South Sudan. Nothing explains this than ‘peace and reward dichotomy’ that has being going on between the rebels and the government; the senseless killings of civilians and looting is act of illiterate to achieve their objective.

My hypothesis is that actually, the twin objectives are complementary but at times conflicting. The killings and destruction is mostly used by illiterate and small raiders to scare off their prey may at most harm the achievement of objective by the high end raiders.

Nothing illustrates these better than ongoing conflicts between the government and the rebels in South Sudan. While the illiterate rejoice at destruction and killing of opponents, the leaders are more reserve as at time, they might held accountable or might reduce chances of ascending to power or vice versa.

South Sudan is unique, it problems are because of it. Though there is a growing population of educated citizens, they are product of the past, their association with the past – experiences and folk tales continue to drag and educate their minds the South Sudan way.

This is illustrated by how all act. During the December 2013 event and afterward, civilians were being targeted and resources destroyed. On the internet, the educated youth burn green leaves and beat drums to announce war.

The nation was divided right along their experiences and folk tales. Worst enough, when missionaries came, the pastoralists used to send their uncooperative, indiscipline and lazy kids to school. South Sudan being a pastoralist’s nation, largely its current leaders could be ‘community rejects’ with no leadership abilities to work for the good of the nation.

The viability of South Sudan must be built on true solid foundation. South Sudan must create a new nation by educating a new crops of people, people educated in class and not through bias folk tales. This will have many benefits, one it will create a true middle class that is self-reliance, sober and less pollutant.

Kenya though very tribal, its educated middle class is its tower of peace that holds it together during 2007 election violence. Second, though highly resources endowed, South Sudan will not develop and grow without human capital. Singapore, India and other Asian countries demonstrated that human capital is first amongst natural resources endowments.

Thirdly, growing an educated population will create informed citizens, democracy and public policies are key ingredients for country’s progress but both are function of education. Today, debates and issues of public interest get distorted – no one can truly and faithfully reads or interprets issues for others and keep his interest at bay.

Till such times, merit is recognized and reward, those who speaks issues will be kept away which is not good for the nation. The country must disconnect its new generation from old pollution. Technology is moving to India because of its hi-tech youth, Kenya has been holds together by its educated middle class, Singapore that was at par with East Africa economies in 1970s is already playing in the first class economic league.

The future of South Sudan must be based on its realities; the future must be separated from the past. Those of us whose cows were stolen, relatives killed and homes destroyed in 1990s though educated had bias reading. South Sudan must know it true self, keep the past away and create South Sudan for future.

Gabriel Garang Atem is an Independent Economic Commentator. He lives in Juba and can be reached

The Genius of Dr. John Garang: Letters and Radio Messages of the Late SPLM/A's Leader, Dr. John Garang de Mabioor (Volume 2) Paperback – November 27, 2013

The Genius of Dr. John Garang: Letters and Radio Messages of the Late SPLM/A’s Leader, Dr. John Garang de Mabioor (Volume 2) Paperback – November 27, 2013, ON AMAZON.COM

The Genius of Dr. John Garang: Letters and Radio Messages of the Late SPLM/A’s Leader, Dr. John Garang de Mabioor (Volume 2) Paperback – November 27, 2013, ON AMAZON.COM






Southern Sudan

February 5th, 1972 

Dear Dominic:

Thank you for the correspondence you dispatched to this end on January 25th, instantly. Very lucky, I go them today from Kampala through the lorry. It is lucky because I am leaving tomorrow morning for the interior, about 500 miles footwork from where we last met and I will not be back for over 7 months, maybe more.

Find here enclosed a copy of a letter I wrote to General Lagu and the negotiations committee (See Captain John Garang’s 1972 Letter to General Joseph Lagu of Anyanya One, January 24, 1972). I have handwritten it (it is 2:00 a.m) since I have packed my typewriter for tomorrow’s long journey. You may type it and if necessary you have my permission to use it BUT AFTER the negotiations ONLY so as not to prejudice the same. As you can see I am not in favor of these so-called negotiations nor do I have any illusions that much will come out of them. What is more, a settlement with the enemy at the present time is not in the best interests of the Southern Sudanese people, the Sudanese people and the African people for some of the reasons given in the attached seven page letter (refer to Captain John Garang’s 1972 Letter to General Joseph Lagu of Anyanya One, January 24, 1972).

Firstly, the “solution” will be no solution since the Arab military dictatorship of General Numeiry seeks to “solve” the problem within the spirit of Arab Nationalism and the context of a United Arab Sudan. Secondly, the Numeiry regime is illegitimate, a regime of blood, rhetoric, instability and theft, it is only a matter of months before the Numeiry clique is couped out of office by a similar scum of political prostitutes. To sign a “settlement” with such unstable barbarians is criminal and makes one a member of that gang though in a different outfit. Thirdly, the conditions for permanent revolution have not as yet been sufficiently created within our own motion.

The objective of liberation (of armed struggle) is firstly the riddance of oppression and exploitation and the simultaneous creation of conditions and structures for the permanent (continuous) release of our productive forces, which have been so historically damned, deformed, stunted and impeded by exploitation, oppression and humiliation. This last point is central as it focuses on the essence, the particularity of our movement.

About my role as Information Officer for the Anyanya, it is true that there has been such talk, but after I finished my infantry training last October, I made a concrete analysis of the situation and objective factors indicated that I could not make my total contribution in that capacity. You know what I mean. And if that be the case, it would be an intolerable situation. I joined the Movement with total commitment and dedication. I have sacrificed (I don’t consider it so) all the benefits paper dehumanizing education is supposed to confer on the dehumanized, decultured native holder, I am resolved to give the ultimate sacrifice, my life, for I am bound by nothing else but duty and commitment to Africa and the African people starting with the Southern Sudanese people, as a matter of course. African liberation can only primarily be effected through combat and everything else must be built around the combat, must enhance and give political character to combat. 

The Genius of Dr. John Garang: (Volume 1)

It would take me a book to go into analytical, historical and practical exposition of this line, but it is sufficient to say that this is why I turned down the “Information” work and chose active combat, and so tomorrow I go to the interior to (eventually soon) take over command of a full battalion. War is war, should anything terminate my usefulness (services) to the African people and revolution, it is incumbent upon you to continue with the struggle and/or to prepare the children and generations to come for the revolution. It is our duty.

I am indeed sorry about brother Vuzi Zulu that he comes at a time I have to leave. It would have been my duty and pleasure to cooperate with him since I presume we are engaged in the same revolution. (I would have also found that out). At any rate, pass my regards and explanation to him on his return. Some other time we shall meet.

Yes, I shot all the five colored films you gave me. After the training I went to Kampala but failed to develop them, as they don’t have facilities for developing Ecktochrome film in Kampala. When Allen Reed came he took them to Nairobi and they were developed and printed on slides. He then returned them and gave me a bill of 80/= (eighty Uganda shillings) which I promptly paid and I got all the slides. Two days later he came to me in Bumbo (twenty miles from Kampala) and begged me to borrow him some of the slides to teach his (Southern Sudanese) photography cadets who were there assembled in Kampala and that he would return them the following day.

He went and disappeared, till now I have not seen him—a complete breach of trust. Please convey the charge of theft to him from me, and collect those slides from him, I had actually told him that I was going to send them to you. The balance, I have left them locked up in Bumbo as I could not send them in time expecting Allen to return the borrowed ones and then send them in lump. This concurs with your other remarks.

Also please convey my sincere appreciation to FOPANO, ANAM, and OFPA for their endorsement “in principle” to cooperation with you and the Movement in our “efforts towards the liberation of Africa” and to Roy Inis and Core for the inclusion of “the Southern Sudanese Liberation Movement” in its support of African Liberation Movements.

Tell those citizens of Africa, snatched away from the great BLACK womb of our Mother, that time has come for their consciousness and ours on the mainland to merge (again) with one big black consciousness that will pull Mother Africa from the bloody teeth of the monster and usher in the total release of our productive forces long damned, deformed and impeded by centuries of oppression, exploitation and emasculating humiliation.

Greetings to all our students and brothers.

Brother Garang Mabior Atem

Southern Sudan, February 5th, 1972

Tearz Ayuen: Brand new school curriculum for South Sudan launched today; Kiswahili compulsory, Arabic and French optional. Isn’t it interesting?

The Genius of Dr. John Garang: The Essential Writings and Speeches of the Late SPLM/A's Leader, Dr. John Garang De Mabioor (Volume 1)

The Genius of Dr. John Garang: The Essential Writings and Speeches of the Late SPLM/A’s Leader, Dr. John Garang De Mabioor (Volume 1) on AMAZON.COM

The Genius of Dr. John Garang: The Essential Writings and Speeches of the Late SPLM/A’s Leader, Dr. John Garang De Mabioor (Volume 1) Paperback – November 15, 2013; by PaanLuel Wël (The Editor)




Don’t Get Derailed from your own History: Dr. John Garang Speaking on the History of the Sudan (1988) 

There is an exigency to go back to our historical roots, back to historical Sudan from the dawn of humanity to the present time. This is urgent and necessary because some people have been striving to erase us from history; they have been trying to derail us from our own history, from our own historical roots. Lest some people may get confuse and succumb to this misguided machinations from Khartoum that have been presenting the Sudan in terms of two parameters to the exclusion of the others—Islamism and Arabism. This ‘back to our roots’ initiative can be summarized in few points as follows. With respect to the history of the Sudan, there are some people, based on their own selfish interest, who say the history of the Sudan commenced with the arrival of the Turks in 1821. Others claim that the history of the Sudan started with the Mahdi, that is, when the Mahdist state (1885-1898) was established in the Sudan. There are some people, particularly among the Europeans, who insist that Africa history, along with the Sudan, began with European colonialism, that is, the coming of the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan or the Anglo-Egyptian condominium (1898-1956). Just here in Southern Sudan, there are some people that even go as recent as 1947 when the Juba Conference was convened to decide whether Southern Sudan should be part of the Sudan or to separate and remain an independent entity or join up with the East Africa countries. There are some, still, who argue that the history of the Sudan started with the invasion of the Sudan by the Arabs from the Egypt and the Middle East. All these chauvinistic narratives on the history of the Sudan are according to some vested interests of certain speakers, of certain sections of the Sudanese society.

The first thing to be said is that we in the SPLM/SPLA go as far back as we can in the history of the Sudan. According to recorded and unrecorded history, archaeological and written history, human civilization started right here in the Nile Valley—in the Sudan and Egypt. And so the Sudan, along with Egypt and the whole of the Nile Valley, is a major part of human civilization, as we know it. This fact again is something out there for anybody to check and to verify. This is important because the historical roots are very important and they cannot just be traced to 1947 or to 1955 to 1880s or to 1820s or nineteen hundred or sixteen hundred. So we in the SPLM/SPLA go all the way back to the dawn of human history, and remember and reconstruct whatever is remember-able and whatever is reconstruct-able, because it is from all these roots that we will create the New Sudan.

So our history is not as shallow as some people would want us to believe. Our history is rich and deep, and we must get into that depth and that richness, and coming from there, taking what we can take and leaving what we do not want. It is up to us, it is our choice. In order to construct from the past, the very past, the medium past and the present to construct the future, we must go back to and reconstruct the very past. So a creation of the New Sudan would mean the complete reconstruction of the past. In order to create the present and the future, we must correctly reconstruct the past, not with lies but with the truth, not by saying John Garang is a descendant of Abbas. No, we must go on to the facts and these facts are readily available in history for people who want to know the truth. So we have said that in order for us to have a correct assessment of our present so that we pass into the future, we have to go all the way back and come with our history and combine whatever is useful to reconstruct our history as it should be, not as some are trying to portray it within the prism of their prejudiced outlook.


There are two ways to view and understand our history as Sudanese people: the history as in the past and history as of the modern times. I call them Sudanese diversities. For this purpose, I want to go down the corridors of history to show that we, the Sudanese, are indeed the historical people and that the New Sudan has an anchor in history. Having an anchor in history is very important because if we cannot find an anchor in history, then we can create one, lest the struggle at the end of the day is meaningless. I will therefore present this anchor in history in terms of the present character of the Sudan and as it connects with our historical roots. The Sudan is characterized by two diversities: contemporary and historical diversities that go back thousand of years, indeed to the dawn of humanity. By historical diversity I mean that we did not just pop up as Sudanese from nowhere. We have been here, we have been there and we are still here now. And the proof of that is, of course, I am standing in front of you here. It means that I must have come from somewhere. When you look at the history of the Sudan, you can find it in old books. In the Bible, for example, where it makes references to Kush and/or Ethiopia; and these are interchangeable names for what is now the geographical Sudan. In the ancient times, we had the kingdom of Wawat, the kingdom of Irtet, the kingdom of Majda and the kingdom of Annu. Annu is believed by some historians to be the present Anyuak or Annuak people that were believed by ancient Egyptian to be the gods of the Nile. That set somewhere in the south to be the source of the Nile, and that was giving water to Egypt, and as the Bible says, Egypt is the gift of the Nile. So it is the gift of Annu or the Anyuak people of Southern Sudan to the Egyptian people.

The Genius of Dr. John Garang: (Volume 2)

You come down the corridors of history to the Nubian Christian kingdoms of Merowe, Makuria, Alwa and Soba. The first non-Jewish Christian or the first gentile Christian was a Sudanese. You read it in the Acts of the Apostles [Acts 8 V 27], as the Ethiopian Eunuch. That Ethiopian Eunuch has been researched and he has been found out to have been an official in the court of the king of Merowe. Merowe is north of Khartoum. As mentioned before, in 1821 was the Turco-Egyptian Sudan, the spread of an occupation of the northern part of our country by the Turco-Egyptian rule, down to the Mahdist state (1885-1898), down to the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan or the Anglo-Egyptian condominium (1898-1956), the modern independent Sudan from 1956 to the present. All these I called the historical diversities. As you can therefore see, we have a long history. People and kingdoms have lived, thrived and disappeared in the geographical area that constitute the present modern Sudan. Yet the present and previous rulers of Khartoum present a false picture of our country as if the Sudan started with them and as if the history and reality of Sudan consists only of two parameters—Arabism and Islamism.  Of course they argue this way so as to stake a claim to the Sudan and they do this to the exclusion of others. This is why there have been wars in the Sudan. Our contention in the SPLM/SPLA is that the Sudan belongs to all the peoples that now inhabit the country, and that its history, diversity and richness is the common heritage of all the Sudanese people. The attempts have been made in the past to try to push some people out of the rail of history and I am not accepting this. That is why I want to anchor our movement, and our struggle and the New Sudan, to anchor it deeply, in our long history. This is one form of diversity, the historical diversity.

The second form of diversity in the Sudan is the present diversity, the contemporary diversity. The Sudan has over 500 different ethnic groups, speaking more than 130 distinct languages. These ethnic groups fall into two categories, roughly the Africans and people of Arab origin in the Sudan, but they are all Sudanese people. The Indigenous African Sudanese—those whose mother tongue is other than Arabic—were 69% of the population according to the 1955 colonial census, while the Arab Sudanese—those whose mother tongue is Arabic—were 31% of the population according to the 1955 colonial census. Another fact that many people do not know or do not want to know is that indigenous Africans are more in the North than in the South: 39% of the total population as compared to the South’s 30%. Ethnicity is thus one major form of contemporary diversity. Another form of contemporary diversity is religion. We have two major religions in the country—Islam and Christianity, and traditional African religions. The Muslims are mostly in the North and constitute about 65-70% of the total population, while Christians and followers of Traditional African Religions constitute the remaining 30-35%.

These two forms of diversities, the historical and the contemporary, constitute the Sudanese reality, and thus, any form of governance must be based on, and must take into account, these two forms of diversities. However, all governments that have come and gone in Khartoum since 1956 have attempted to create a monolithic Arab-Islamic state to the exclusion of other parameters of the Sudanese diversity. They simply ignore or deliberately fly in the face of this Sudanese reality. This is the fundamental problem of the Sudan, and the justification for our armed struggle. What has happened is that a group of people in Khartoum, in 1956, hijacked the Sudan. They hijacked the Sudan and defined it in their own image, that the Sudan is an Arab-Islamic state. No, it is not. I called it hijacking because Sudan is a Sudanese state for the Sudanese people, not an Arab-Islamic state for Arabs and the Muslims.


This is our point of departure from those naysayers. Therefore, it is necessary for each of you to study, to learn what is available out there, without preference, about our historical roots and about our rightful place in the history of mankind. The fact that we are here in 1988; the fact that the various Sudanese nationalities are here—that alone, the reality of our presence in the Sudan today, shows that there was a civilization(s) here. Otherwise, we would not be talking today as Dinka or as Nuer or as Shilluk or as Zande or Latuho or whatever all the nationalities there are in the Sudan. It is the solidity of their cultures that has made them to be present today in 1988; otherwise, they would not be present, for they would have been lost like many lost nationalities of human race. So the assertions, the lies that are said, what is said that Sudanese civilization or state started in such and such a year should be far from our thinking, because the Sudan is rich with cultures that go very deep into the dawn of humanity itself. If we study these cultures in historical motion, we will find their richness and depth undisputable. This is an important point of departure that unites us, and it is in sharp contrast to the narrative of those who want to hijack the Sudan by making it in their own artificial image. This is because if you take the history of the Sudan from one point of view, because if you say it is Arab civilization or a Dinka civilization or a Nuer civilization or a Shilluk civilization or a Fur civilization or a Latuho civilization or Nuba civilization and you speak to that viewpoint only, that would be a sectarian culturalism because you are taking one of the cultures and defining the New Nation through a single cultural entity. Absolutely not, for you cannot create a new harmonious nation out of imposition of one culture on the rest, this is impossible. So we take that point of departure and we will be consistent with it.

I acknowledge that it is difficult to be consistent with it when people are confused, when people have vested interests, when people are sectarian, when people are tribalistic, when people are sectionalistic, then it is difficult to be consistent because the vested interests will divert people. But the real revolutionaries understand that point of view and they will go consistently with it. The language I am using here is of course an inflammatory language that states ‘don’t tell me about Arabs’. But this is not our language, this is the language of someone that is angry and he can be excused because he is angry for a reason. It is necessary to be angry in order to become a revolutionary. You must be angry in order to rebel against oppression as was mentioned earlier by comrade Yusuf Kuwa Mekki. After you become a rebel, you transform yourself into a revolutionary. So we will, and you must, accept this language as coming from an angry man and we understand why he is angry—he is protesting against his deletion from history.

Therefore, we will immerse ourselves into the Sudanese situation, we will transform the Sudanese situation, so that they believe in the objectivity of the New Sudan, in which there is no anti-Arabism, and no anti-Africanism, no anti-Islam or anti-Christianity but we form a new synthesis, a new synthesis that is a culture, that is a nation, that is a state, that will have its role to play on the African continent, in the Middle East, in the World, because we have to make our contribution to the human race and we have the capability to make this contribution. So this is the intellectual background of our objectives as a Movement—the SPLM/SPLA.

From this intellectual background anchored in history, in order to have success, we must envision what success is, what it looks like, what it feels like. So what do we mean by success? One, we must form a revolutionary state in Khartoum, and secondly, that revolutionary state must have a revolutionary army in Khartoum, because you cannot have a revolutionary state without the revolutionary army. It is a contradiction. Likewise, you cannot have a reactionary state and a revolutionary army because one would take the other away and it has happened in many places. For example, a minority cliques can stage a coup d’état, install themselves in power and proclaim revolution. They claim to have made a revolution while the whole army remains reactionary. There is General such and such and he maintains his position and Major General such and such still maintains his position, and he likes his position and the privileges that his position avails him and he has his local and international connections. It is a matter of time before the reactionary army gets rid of the revolutionary state.

The summary of this argument boils down to one objective: the establishment of a revolutionary army and a revolutionary state in Khartoum. This, more than anything else, is the true meaning, and our definition, of success. If we have not achieved these two objectives—a revolutionary state with a revolutionary army—then we are continuing the armed struggle until these two are formed because one would not succeed without the other, they are complementary, one is indispensable to the survival of the other. And it is not the SPLM/A only that is going to form the state because there are other revolutionary forces in the country. Our task is how to fuse together these revolutionary forces in order to establish these objectives of a revolutionary state with a revolutionary army. I gave you the other background before in order to arrive at the necessity of these objectives because without the revolutionary state and the revolutionary army to safeguard it, you cannot destroy neocolonialism, you cannot destroy religious fundamentalism, and you cannot destroy racism in the country.

Certainly, you need a revolutionary state with a revolutionary army in order to do these because any other situation won’t work, and won’t succeed, simply because say if we get rid of Sharia and there is somebody who is not a revolutionary and you tell him to cancel Sharia, he would think that he would go to hell and who would want to go to hell? He won’t do it because in his mind, there is a hell waiting for him. How do you convince someone to embrace going to hell? Of course we know that this is a misguided view but it is a fact we have to deal with; armed revolutions are conducted within the paradigm of the prevailing reality, whether that actuality is based on facts or on myths is beside the point.  So you need a revolutionary state and a revolutionary army in order to implement the revolutionary program. The revolutionary program also has to be constructed, and you need a revolutionary state and a revolutionary army in order to construct and implement the revolutionary program. This is our history since the dawn of human age and this is our noble goal and objective to the suffering people of the Sudan: to establish a revolutionary state with a revolutionary army to construct and implement a revolutionary program of the New Sudan Vision.

As Interest Fades in the Humanities, Colleges Worry

Many do not understand that the study of humanities offers skills that will help them sort out values, conflicting issues and fundamental philosophical questions, said Leon Botstein, the president of Bard College. “We have failed to make the case that those skills are as essential to engineers and scientists and businessmen as to philosophy professors,” he said.

Science Is Not Your Enemy

Scientific ideas and discoveries about living nature and man, perfectly welcome and harmless in themselves, are being enlisted to do battle against our traditional religious and moral teachings, and even our self-understanding as creatures with freedom and dignity. A quasi-religious faith has sprung up among us—let me call it “soul-less scientism”—which believes that our new biology, eliminating all mystery, can give a complete account of human life, giving purely scientific explanations of human thought, love, creativity, moral judgment, and even why we believe in God. … Make no mistake. The stakes in this contest are high: at issue are the moral and spiritual health of our nation, the continued vitality of science, and our own self-understanding as human beings and as children of the West. 

Crimes Against Humanities

The question of the place of science in knowledge, and in society, and in life, is not a scientific question. Science confers no special authority, it confers no authority at all, for the attempt to answer a nonscientific question. It is not for science to say whether science belongs in morality and politics and art. Those are philosophical matters, and science is not philosophy, even if philosophy has since its beginnings been receptive to science. Nor does science confer any license to extend its categories and its methods beyond its own realms, whose contours are of course a matter of debate. The credibility of physicists and biologists and economists on the subject of the meaning of life—what used to be called the ultimate verities, secularly or religiously constructed—cannot be owed to their work in physics and biology and economics, however distinguished it is. The extrapolation of larger ideas about life from the procedures and the conclusions of various sciences is quite common, but it is not in itself justified; and its justification cannot be made on internally scientific grounds, at least if the intellectual situation is not to be rigged. Science does come with a worldview, but there remains the question of whether it can suffice for the entirety of a human worldview. To have a worldview, Musil once remarked, you must have a view of the world. That is, of the whole of the world. But the reach of the scientific standpoint may not be as considerable or as comprehensive as some of its defenders maintain.

Is the ‘Dumb Jock’ Really a Nerd?

In the frequent debates over the merits of science and philosophy, or the humanities in general, it is often assumed that the factual grounding and systematic methodology of the sciences serve as a corrective to the less rigorous wanderings of the humanities. And while many take the position that the humanities can provide their own important path to enlightenment, few argue that considerations from philosophy can or should correct the considered judgment of scientists. Even most defenders of the humanities hold that the sciences are directed at truth, whereas the humanities have an alternate goal, perhaps the molding of ideal citizens.

Majur Michael Achol

I wish to inform you fellow south Sudanese about the existing scholarship to Malaysia in
the following areas;
1. Civil Engineering
2. Chemical Engineering
3. Mechanical Engineering
4. Electrical and Electronics Engineering
5. Petroleum Engineering
6. Petroleum Geo science
7. Information and communication technology
8. Business information system
Requirements are;
1. be south Sudanese by nationality
2. age limit, must be 17-23 years old
3. pass ‘A’ LEVEL with at least grade c in mathematics, physics and chemistry for engineering programs and Geo science but for technology programs, pass ‘A’ LEVEL with at least grade c in mathematics and any two non-language subjects
4. deadline is 20th /Nov/2013
NB. Take application form from ministry of petroleum and mining in juba or from ministry of education in your state.
wish you good luck friends.

When you sit in on a class here and meet with the principal and teachers, what you find is a relentless focus on all the basics that we know make for high-performing schools but that are difficult to pull off consistently across an entire school system. These are: a deep commitment to teacher training, peer-to-peer learning and constant professional development, a deep involvement of parents in their children’s learning, an insistence by the school’s leadership on the highest standards and a culture that prizes education and respects teachers.


Scholarship: Stanford Africa Fellowship

Posted: September 26, 2013 by PaanLuel Wël in Africa, Business, Business, Economy, Education

Africa is at the forefront of significant global economic growth and opportunity. Stanford GSB is excited to contribute to the region’s human and economic development by educating leaders committed to making an impact on the continent.

The Stanford Africa MBA Fellowship Program pays for tuition and associated fees (approximately US $140,000) for citizens of African countries with financial need who wish to obtain an MBA at Stanford GSB. The fellowship was created to reduce the financial barrier for African citizens wishing to pursue an MBA at Stanford GSB. Up to eight fellowships will be awarded annually.

Within two years of graduation from Stanford GSB, Stanford Africa MBA Fellows are required to return to Africa to work for at least two years in a professional role that contributes to the continent’s development.

This pilot program was launched in 2013, and is expected to run for three to five years.

Learn more about the application requirements, including the application process and eligibility, as well as frequently asked questions.

Furious Taban writes to editor recanting his story

I have had differences of opinion with Okot p’Bitek and Ngugi wa Thiong’o but they have been on literary stand points….

Who appointed Taban prefect of literature?

Why do Kenyan newspapers allow this ingrate called Prof Taban Lo Liyong to shower his literary offals on the Kenyan literati year in, year out? …

Taban: Ngugi does not deserve Nobel

Controversial scholar visits Kenya and makes even more startling statements…

Lo Liyong wrong on journalism

Reading Omusolo Moses’ (Saturday Nation, June 1) article, I decided to revisit the story about Taban Lo Liyong and noted with sadness that Lo Liyong thinks journalism is a hurdle to would-be…

Decolonizing Ngungi wa Thiong’o’s mentality

For forty-six years, since he renounced English, and Christianity, and discarded his baptismal “colonial” James, he has been globetrotting like a superstar—some say like a prophet of doom.

Amou Ajang, South Sudan’s Jack Kent Cooke Scholar

Talk Radio News Service

The 19-year-old South Sudanese refugee was attending Glendale  Ajang was one of 450 Cooke scholars gathered at the National Conference Center in 
90000 missing after S. Sudan violence, says groupSan Antonio Express

 aid group Doctors Without Borders says that around 90,000 people are still missing and likely hiding in fear after ethnic violence last month in South Sudan.

See all stories on this topic »

South Sudan News: New Minister for Gender Equality Focuses on SBWire (press release)

Juba, South Sudan — (SBWIRE) — 08/21/2013 — The South Sudan News (SSN) reports that the newly appointed National Minister of Gender, Child and Social 
Bashir, Kiir Praise Ethiopia’s Zenawi for Peace

Ethiopia Prime Minister Meles Zenawi speaks during a past news conference in Addis  “For South Sudan he left us dignity, peace, independence and he laid a 
Sudan attacks: US ups pressure; general arrestedSan Antonio Express

JUBA, South Sudan (AP) — U.S. political leaders are increasing pressure on South Sudan’syoung government to prevent ethnically motivated attacks by 
Panning For Gold In South Sudan, A Gram At A TimeOPB News

He’s one of about 60,000 gold diggers in South Sudan unearthing an estimated $660 million worth of gold each year, according to one international mining 
Amou Ajang, South Sudan’s Jack Kent Cooke ScholarBorglobe

by Talk Radio News Service  The 19-year-old South Sudanese refugee was attending Glendale Community College in Arizona, when she applied for one of 
What is Wrong With Dr Lam Akol Ajawin?

Historically and even right now, South Sudan is having many PhDs holders or  got confused especially majority of South Sudanese who like reading news on 

Dear Compatriots, 

Reviewing academic qualifications and criminal background checks of the President’s nominees for the ministerial posts is a good step if it will continue as system of the good governance and not just a political witch-hunt for only Mr.Telar Ring Deng by his political nemesis as alleged by some political circles.
Honestly, there are few people who carry false degrees, especially, those returning home from the Diaspora. Those individuals returned home and worked in the government institutions. Some worked in the private sectors with fake academic credentials with no transcripts, College &University degrees without notarized seals, and no physical school buildings in existence. Such people are currently occupying key important positions in the government of South Sudan. They have obtained those positions through nepotism.
However, people who hold real degrees are left out in limbo. This reminded me of my great conversation with one of my best friends by the name Angelo Adian Deng from Warrap In 2003 in Nashville, Tennessee. We discussed what the value of education means to some people. We also talked about why some people preferred titles than knowledge. I told him that many people from our communities deceived themselves by acquiring false degrees that earned them only titles, but not knowledge.  He told me that he knew many people from his own community who have the same fake degrees. I am citing this example because of the recent controversial debate about the vetting of some President’s nominees for the National Government Ministers in the National Legislative Assembly. I congratulate Mr. President for asking the parliament to vet the candidates. I also congratulate the members of the National Legislative Assembly for their nationalistic and heroic stand to screen out the unqualified and incompetent cadres.
I personally appreciate the Selective Vetting Committee from our Legislative Assembly for the great job they have done during confirmation hearing. I hope this process shall be adopted by the State Legislative Assembly in all the ten States of the Republic of South Sudan.  I believe they shall follow the same by thoroughly investigating the academic credentials of every South Sudanese who wants to seek job in the country as it has been applied to the members of the new national government.
Moreover, this system of checking the academic credentials, background, experiences, expertise, and knowledge of individuals seeking employment with the government of South Sudan and private sectors must be adopted as set criteria for recruitment of the work force in South Sudan.
Currently, the institutions of the government throughout the south Sudan are paralyzed or crippled because some incompetent people who lack knowledge and skills have permeated those institutions. They cannot even prepare action plans for development in the new country. Therefore, I am appealing to all South Sudanese to academically equip themselves with necessary knowledge and skills to rescue the new born nation. Now, the time has come to do the real work and deliver quality services to our people. This era is not the dark days when there was no government system in place. These are not the ancient days when the nepotism was the only qualification to obtain employment. It is now the time for merit and real qualifications to be considered for serious work. People must learn that there is a time for everything. Nobody should have expected that some freedom fighters should falsify their academic credentials in order to obtain the constitutional posts in our government.  As it is said “You can fool people for sometimes but you cannot fool them all the times”.  I strongly believe that this recent vetting of the President’s nominees sent a clear message to those who have obtained jobs using fake certificates. These people will be purged out of the system shortly.
In conclusion, the requirements for checking the academic credentials should be passed down to the State Governors in order to use it when downsizing their state governments. If this vetting process will continue, our country would prosper and move forward. I thank the Selective Vetting Committee of the National Legislative Assembly for their professionalisms, impartiality, and integrity in executing their assignment.  I hope those who hold false and irrelevant degrees will be hunt down because this is a form of corruption. With this step, then our country is close to reach the integrity, honesty, and commitment to achieve the dream we all fought for during the liberation struggle.
Stephen Miyong Nyuon
Lincoln, Nebraska, USA
It is a start.  I believe this system must continue. I heard one of the Man in Aweil who deceived the people in Aweil that he has a degree in University of Calgary. He posted a big degree in his office wall but when people who were with him in Alberta go to see him, he doesn’t allow people to come to his office.
He always prepares to meet with them outside his office. This man has never gone to any institutions in Western Canada but he spoke a very commendable English; however, he spoils this English by using fake degree. There are no institutions that offer any degrees in Canada without attending academic courses.
 I hope this fire must expand to states as well so that people must cross check the validity of employee certificates. Kenya and Uganda spoiled the whole east Africa because they make fake degrees.
Peter Gatkuoth


The Next Mark Zuckerberg

Posted: June 26, 2013 by PaanLuel Wël in Business, Business, Economy, Education

You know Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, but there’s a changing guard of entrepreneurs focused on big ideas and the next big thing. Here’s a batch to look out for.


Educational Jobs with Creative International

Posted: February 26, 2013 by PaanLuel Wël in Education, Jobs

South Sudan – Multiple Education Positions
Education for Development Division
Start Date: Anticipated July 2013
Position Location: Juba or Kwajok, South Sudan
Creative Associates International is a dynamic and fast-growing professional services firm that
specializes in international development in the areas of education, democratic transitions and stabilization
in post-conflict environments. Based in Washington, DC, the firm has a field presence in more than 20
countries worldwide with a strong and diverse portfolio that includes global contracts with the U.S. Agency
for International Development (USAID) and other clients including the U.S. Department of State and the
U.S. Department of Defense. The firm has earned a solid reputation among its clients and missions
worldwide and is well-regarded by competitors and partners alike.
Position Summary
Creative Associates International (Creative) is seeking education technical experts for an anticipated fiveyear USAID-funded project in South Sudan. The project aims to improve and expand safer education
services for children, promote learner well-being and strengthen the quality and management at the local
levels to support basic education. These positions will be based in Juba or Kwajok with significant travel
to project field sites in Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Warrap, Unity, Upper Nile and Jonglei states.
Creative Associates is seeking experts in the following technical areas for long-term assignments with the
• Teacher Support Specialist
• Gender Specialist
• Institutional Strengthening Specialist
• Minimum of a Bachelor’s degree and 5-7 years of professional experience in education and
specifically in one or more of the technical areas noted above.
• Prior experience working on USAID or other donor-funded programs is desirable
• Strong interpersonal, oral and written communication skills
• Excellent written and spoken English language skills
Please send qualified CV and contact information to or Please indicate which position you are applying for in the email.
Creative Associates International is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women and Minorities are
encouraged to apply. AA/V/D. South Sudanese candidates are encouraged to apply.

Next Made-in-China Boom: College Graduates

Posted: January 17, 2013 by PaanLuel Wël in Books, Economy, Education

China is making a $250 billion-a-year investment in [EDUCATION] what economists call human capital. Just as the United States helped build a white-collar middle class in the late 1940s and early 1950s by using the G.I. Bill to help educate millions of World War II veterans, the Chinese government is using large subsidies to educate tens of millions of young people as they move from farms to cities. The aim is to change the current system, in which a tiny, highly educated elite oversees vast armies of semi-trained factory workers and rural laborers. China wants to move up the development curve by fostering a much more broadly educated public, one that more closely resembles the multifaceted labor forces of the United States and Europe.

Professor Imbuga has published several plays including Betrayal in the City 1976, The Successor 1979, Man of Kafira 1984, Aminata 1988, and The Return of Mgofu 2011. He has also authored two novels, Shrine of Tears, 1993 and Miracle of Remera 2005. His play Aminata has been used as a Secondary school set book. His other play, Betrayal in the city has been selected by KIE as a set book for the KCSE English paper one.

Curtains fall on playwright Imbuga

Renowned playwright and university don, Prof Francis Imbuga, is dead. Prof Imbuga died on Sunday night after suffering a stroke in his house in Nairobi.

University World News

US$2.5 billion Chinese loan to upgrade universities
By Wagdy Sawahel30 September 2012 Issue No:241
South Sudan plans to upgrade its five public universities to new, modern campuses, with US$2.5 billion worth of Chinese loans backed by oil. But the move has come in for criticism, including for lack of consultation with local higher education stakeholders.

The campus upgrading plan was announced by Higher Education, Science and Technology Minister Peter Adwok Nyaba, according to a 13 September Reuters report.

South Sudan achieved independence from Sudan in July 2011 to become Africa’s newest state – albeit one of the world’s least developed countries. It has eight public universities, but only five of them are fully operational, while the other three are new and do not yet have students.

The upgrading plan entails moving the country’s existing five public university campuses, which are cramped and lack proper facilities, to new, modern campus infrastructure.

Chinese companies have prepared the designs for the five universities, including Juba University in the capital, along with four other universities: in the states of Upper Nile, Western Bahr al-Ghazal, Jonglei and Lakes respectively.

The upgrading project was expected to start this year and finish in 2017, but it was delayed by South Sudan closing off its oil output last January in a dispute with Khartoum over how much it should pay to export crude through pipelines in Sudanese territory.

Reaction to upgrading initiative

“The universities upgrading initiative has been the best-kept secret from university vice-chancellors,” said John Apuruot Akec, vice-chancellor of the University of Northern Bahr El Ghazal and chair of the think-tank Academics and Researchers Forum for Development.

“We only hear about it as a passing comment by the minister,” he told University World News.

“How would a minister and maybe a few friends and consultants commit such huge national financial resources without involving the participation of stakeholders (universities and higher education experts) in order to improve project design, ensure value for money, and improve accountability and transparency in the implementation?” Akec asked.

He said as far as he knew the loan had not actually been approved by the Ministry of Finance or the government: “The minister appears completely oblivious and out of touch with reality.”

Akec argued: “If the project is allowed, this will be a multi-billion-dollar scandal that will be paid for by the South Sudanese for many generations to come, when we cannot be sure if we are getting value for money or feeding the mouths of corrupt politicians, officials and their contractors.”

Is the Chinese universities model suited to South Sudan?

Akec flagged a number of concerns about the technical, cultural, environmental and socio-economic suitability of the Chinese universities model to South Sudan.

“There is a concern whether it is right to ‘hand down’ on South Sudan’s universities Chinese models of what we call a university campus, given the different cultures, traditions and values.

“Even within South Sudan, local environmental and cultural differences, and socio-economic conditions prevail. Have they been accommodated by the Chinese design?”

“Apart from the fancy expression – ‘modern campuses’ – nobody knows what we are going to get, such as how many labs, lecture halls, libraries, [or how much] equipment. What type of colleges will be built through this financing? Will it give priority to science and technology subjects? If not, then is that the right thing to do?” Akec said.

What is the way forward for reform?

Akec highlighted a number of problems facing the higher education sector and suggested ways to deal with them.

“Apart from crying ‘quality’, we – or rather the minister of higher education – have not articulated a convincing and well reasoned vision for higher education in South Sudan.”

He argued that focusing on upgrading the the five universities is unfair to the other three new institutions, which “have not admitted students but have a founding administration in place”. They are being deprived of the funding they need to get off the ground.

“These universities are instituted by an act of a parliament and have been established by passing a legal bill into university acts,” Akec pointed out. “The minister breaks the law by ignoring these new universities without the approval of the president and the parliament.”

Akec also argued for considering the provision of new subject specialisations that are not currently provided by any of the existing universities. “Would it not be better to allow the current universities to get on with what they have (but support them partially) and then build new colleges providing new specialisations on new campuses?”

He argued that each of the eight universities could be granted a minimum of US$2 million per year to spend on infrastructure and US$500,000 per year to hire expat academics in rare technologies, maths, English and medical fields, for the next 10 to 20 years.

This, along with the introduction of “very strict monitoring, auditing, accountability, and reporting systems, including best practice in procurement, contracting and bidding systems, and project execution”, would offer South Sudan the opportunity of developing state-of-the-art campuses reflective of the country’s cultural values.

“The results would be startling,” Akec concluded.