The Ministry of Higher Education and Process of Accreditation in South Sudan Private Universities

Posted: January 8, 2016 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Columnists, Commentary, Contributing Writers, Education, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers

The Ministry of Higher Education, (Directorate of Private, Foreign and Philanthropic Institutions), and Process of Accreditation in South Sudan Private Universities.

By David Matiop Gai, Juba, South Sudan

democracy

Demo-cracy or Demo-crazy?

January 8, 2016 (SSB)  —  The history of accreditation in South Sudan Universities both Public and Privates institutions have low turn’s lack of nationalism to make South Sudan a better academic inclusive and conducive environment that may attract even foreigners to study in our richest new nation where we have different types of resources than any other nation in the world that may also engulf international attention on academic studies.

There must be kinds of universities that are supposed to be made or own by South Sudanese themselves where some of African people or the international students might be interested in our home education to study and graduated here, why not? But let mind you!! If South Sudanese are not serious about education, even God will not send his angels from Heaven to come and build universities for our future generations if some South Sudanese do not leave their ill intentions/feelings and jealousy for academic achievements of other fellow South Sudanese in academia realms, and it will never be improving.

 In fact education is a crucial tool of breaking down cycle of poverty in human societies in all nations. Education is a compulsory rights of human beings, starting from Universal Primary Education( UPE), and Alternative Education (AE) and Vocational/Ad vocational training, there is no stage against humanity in learning, there is no discrimination in education like why someone went to school as a child, adult, young or old because education opens unlimited opportunities and for these reasons, South Sudan Ministry of General Education (MGE) lunched educational compiagn,“go back to school” last year in former states capitals of Rumbek, Jonglei, Yambio and other states in the nation because education equips individual in fullness of lives, it makes one understand the world, your environment around you, and give persons self-gain confidence, and it opens doors to employment opportunities whether self-reliance, creating business or in government institutions, which mean public and private universities have the sole role to play in the development of human resource capacity building in the Republic of South Sudan.

When CPA signed in Nairobi Kenya in 2005, Dr John Garang requested donors to give their pledges to support government of Southern Sudan sector of education as a first priority in his plan and for the government to boost Southern Sudan societies from informal system of education to the modern societies of innovative and advance technocrats but to carry on this burden, education becomes problems and students ratio is much bigger outside country than inside because education challenges for instance candidates of 2009-2015 students ratio  is never met.

Now education is suppose to be first step we would have taken in the Republic of South Sudan because four decades of civil war in the Sudan as our history concern, we have lost generations of war to illiteracy than other countries in the world but it seem for sure that it is not in plan or in mind of Directorate of Private Institutions, (DPI). The Directorate concern is thinking of private universities overcoming public universities if the process of accreditation is done and the only option to do is just to neglect them with their bountiful uses and the process of accreditation become more and more difficult. In other countries, the process of accreditation is very simple.

The process of higher education accreditation worldwide involves four stages in order to deliver a quality education that may be competence and competitive at international level or international market and these are stages involves in accreditation process.

Registration. Registration is a legal necessity not only in South Sudan universities but worldwide. How does registration happen or begins? Simply any new university or a college arrive or operate in the country out of Ministry notice is brought into system through registration with simple conditions to follow. The conditions are infrastructure which includes land, buildings, and environment or free space, follow by qualified lecturers from Bachelor Degree – PhD levels, library, internet, and computers. The other important procedures are some 9 certificates, e.g. certificate of operation without any objection for the university. If these requirements are not all met during the years given or not available at the time needed, still the ministry will not chose to shut down the colleges, the ministry can give two – three years to see what was required is met for next stage which is called recognition. Because universities/colleges are body of ministry of higher education, if you opt to shut them down, you shut yourself down.

Recognition.  A state of being recognized contains many perceptions. Recognition or being recognized means something that has been seen before, or heard, and known. It is something that exists or true. It is an achievement in services or appreciating somebody for good work. You cannot recognize something which you don’t know, something which you never supervise and monitor. In connection to recognition of universities in South Sudan, this may come when the ministry registered universities, formulate and unify curriculum for Primary, Secondary, universities, and organizes debate on national issues such as economic, social, culture, business, politics, history, etc among universities, and conduct or send topics for research writings, then recognition can take place which university is the best and follow by which university? And then accreditation.

Accreditation. Accreditation is the process in which certification of competency, authority, or credibility is presented. The goal of accreditation is to ensure that education provided by institutions of higher education meets acceptable levels of quality, while quality education ensures students achieve their goals and satisfies the needs of the society and help in national development. Our economy of South Sudan need educated societies; this is what the ministry of higher education should bear in mind.

And finally chartering. University charter is a chartering authority given by provincial, state, regional, and sometimes national governments to legitimize the university‘s existence. A head of state can charter the university and it can be done in a length of time and sometime it takes 15-20 years from the beginning of the university. I thought as a writer of this Article, I challenge our ministry of higher education specially Director concern would have see far- beyond everyone analysis in term of education because we have been delayed and engaged in war for four decades back, but the question is, why can’t we build a weak system of education today that may be boost to a strongest system tomorrow if we think we want to pretend comparing our education now with USA education which is 1000 years ahead of us? Look!! Harvard University in USA is the best private university which serves the educational interest of American people as well as the globe.

The above four processes took long services in other countries, because these are processes connected to development. And if we talk of development, it is the process of improvement or change, and it takes a long time. It is like a constant development of a baby; you cannot see how a child is developing but slowly sizes develop frequently.  In South Sudan, the Ministry of higher education, Directorate of Private Universities wants to let the four processes happen at once as I always hear over radios and read in news papers. It is not true at all; it may not be possible, the ministry act like planting seeds in the morning and harvesting them in the evening. These systems, rules, and policies are contrary according to international standard of higher education.

In conclusion, complains amount from Ministry of higher education that, “all private universities came in on windows”, but the challenge is who will adjust them? Yes they came in on windows! But they need proper adjustment with good will and heart of services delivery to the societies of South Sudan. Education challenges are ahead of us for instance, six public universities cannot afford to admit yearly students’ ratio for intakes in former ten states and now twenty eight states. Therefore in order to supplement and create attractive academic environment in South Sudan, we need to build our institutions’ foundation of higher learning own by South Sudanese themselves with the full support from the ministry of higher education with positive ideas not money. Let’s mark this clearly, not all citizens inhabited the country that may register, recognize, accredited, and chartered universities in the country in order to meet their academic needs but mandated persons like Director in the Directorate of private universities should work hard day and night to ensure that country’s needs and public interests are sufficiently address in education if there is spirit of nationalism.

The author is Co-founder of National Mental Health Care Organization. He holds Bachelor degree in Social Work and social Administration, B- Theology, MA in Comparative social work at Cavendish University and a fellow researcher. He can be reach at tonggaid551@yahoo.com or david.matiopgai@gmail.com.

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