Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

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

HAS EDUCATION CHANGED DINKA BOR AS A COMMUNITY?

Posted: September 11, 2014 by PaanLuel Wël in Commentary, Education

By Tearz Ayuen, Nairobi

It’s often said the Dinka of Jonglei have huge numbers of educated people. That some of the most highly educated South Sudanese are found in Bor, Twic East and Duk counties. Nice. However, if it is true, where is the education? Do you see it? Do you smell it? Is it being kept in some corner of the brain, perhaps for later use or is it on the paper, barren, hanging on the wall?

Education changes individuals’ lives but in wider perspectives, it’s meant to transform lives of communities. People go to school to improve their lives and lives of those around them. Think about Louis Pasteur, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Graham Bell and so on.

Has Dinka Bor proved to the other communities the importance of education? Is there anything to show for it? Is there anything that their educated selves have done to encourage the neighboring education-starved communities such as Murle and Jie to beat their children to school?

It’s true that education has changed most of individuals from Dinka Bor. They work in banks, in law firms. They work in big hospitals and clinics, both private and public. Some are working for the United Nations and its agencies. Others are actually the government, working in various institutions.

Nobody is being forced or expected to invent anything, though. It’s just a concern. With all those Doctorates, Degrees and Masters, one or two scholars should have been able to put an end to at least one of the perennial problems. Schools teach us how to solve problems, first as an individual and then as a community or society.

There is an educational policy called sustainability education. It spells out the purpose of education – why people go to school. Anyone who once or twice wore graduation attires should be able to possess it. According to education researchers Daniella Tilbury and David Wortman, it demands:

Envisioning – being able to imagine a better future. The premise is that if we know where we want to go, we will be better able to work out how to get there.

Critical thinking and reflection – learning to question our current belief systems and to recognize the assumptions underlying our knowledge, perspective and opinions. Critical thinking skills help people learn to examine economic, environmental, social and cultural structures in the context of sustainable development.

Systemic thinking – acknowledging complexities and looking for links and synergies when trying to find solutions to problems.

Building partnerships – promoting dialogue and negotiation, learning to work together.

Participation in decision-making – empowering people.

In Jonglei, Bor present generation faces problems that they inherited from their parents. Their parents also inherited them from their parents.

Flood is one of the major natural problems affecting the people. Flooding comes with lots of life-threatening issues. It destroys crops. It makes farming so difficult. It comes with various water-borne diseases which attack both humans and livestock. Thousands of cattle, the sole source of life among the Dinka Bor, are left dead by the likes of Leptospirosis, annually or biannually.

Another issue is drought. Drought still affects farming in Bor area. That’s stupid and ironical. It is ironical because they have the Nile waters and acquired education.

Cattle theft and raids by the alleged neighboring Murle and Lou Nuer tribesmen should have also been put to an end long time ago. There is something called mircochip implant; a device used for identifying domestic animals. It’s practiced in Botswana. With modern technologies, no Dinka Bor should be killed for his cow anymore.

Unfortunately, you find the educated in bars, celebrating – drinking the week away and chattering like apes over beer. You can spot them driving big cars on the streets of Juba. You can also see them in clean suits and ties at Shirkat or Gumbo, watching traditional dances. They are always out there, bespectacled. To them, eyeglasses are a symbol of educated-ness.

Unless proven otherwise, the understanding of education amongst these folks is: Go to school > >earn an education>> buy a pair of reading glasses>>find a job>> get paid>>buy or build a house>>buy a car>>drink beer>> walk around with chest sticking out>> and then die.

Tearz © 2014


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 http://www.commonapp.org) 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

Eligibility

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.

Waivers

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.

Applications

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 applications@banaa.org,  or printed out and mailed to:

 Banaa.org 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 applications@banaa.org.

Click HERE to go the site: banaa.org


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.