Archive for the ‘Education’ Category
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Tags: scholarship for south sudanese to malaysia
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
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.
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.
I have had differences of opinion with Okot p’Bitek and Ngugi wa Thiong’o but they have been on literary stand points….
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? …
Controversial scholar visits Kenya and makes even more startling statements…
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…
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.
Talk Radio News Service
|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 EffortsAllAfrica.com
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 …
|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?AllAfrica.com
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 …
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.
VACANCY POSTING NOTICE
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.
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 HollynH@CreativeDC.com or
SandhyaB@CreativeDC.com. 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.
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.
Tags: $2.5 billion chinese loan
University World News
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.
Your Submission Requested: A collection of Creative Writing Titled “Visions and Voices from South Sudan”Posted: July 28, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël in Education, South Sudanese Diaspora
A collection of creative writing titled “Visions and Voices from South Sudan” is currently being curated for the McSweeney’s Quarterly, a literary journal edited by the celebrated American writer Dave Eggers, author of critically-acclaimed works such as A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Zeitoun, A Hologram for the King, and closer to South Sudan, What is the What, which told the story of Valentino Achak Deng, one of the Lost Boys.
This collection will be edited by Nyuol Tong, South Sudanese writer and founder of SELFSudan who is currently a Reginaldo Howard Memorial scholar at Duke University. Please address your submissions to him (email@example.com).
All South Sudanese creative writers are invited to submit their works.
Our guidelines are direct and simple:
Deadline: July 30, 2012
Form: Fiction, poetry, journalism, comics and essays will all be considered.
Word count: between 2000 and about 6000 words
Multiple submissions: Yes
Published works: Yes
Language: English only
How to submit: email your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org. All submissions must be online.
Tags: DAAD scholarship, scholarship
This programme is designed to further qualify future leaders in politics, law, economics and administration according to the principles of Good Governance and to prepare them in a praxis-oriented course for their professional life. The programme offers very good graduates with a first university degree the chance to obtain a Master’s degree in disciplines that are of special relevance for the social, political and economic development of their home country. With the knowledge and experience acquired in Germany the scholarship holders should later contribute to the establishment of democratically oriented economic and social systems aimed at overcoming social tensions. In addition, the training at German institutions of higher education should especially qualify the scholarship holders as partners in political and economic cooperation with Germany. With this programme, DAAD intends to contribute to the support of Good Governance and civil society structures in selected partner countries and regions.