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.
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:-
- Relieve the Ministry of education of much of the burden of day- to- day business.
- Cater for a greater degree of democracy in the management and administration of the system; and
- 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: firstname.lastname@example.org or contact him on 0912646306.