What do the students of Juba University expect from Gen. Paul Malong Awan & Gen. Taban Deng in the event of welcoming ceremony of first year students by JUSU?
By Bol Madut Ayii, Juba, South Sudan
January 29, 2017 (SSB) — University of Juba is one of the national universities in South Sudan that came to existence in 1975 and the historical background dated back to Addis Ababa Agreement with Khartoum where South Sudanese by then called for higher institution of learning in Southern part of the country. The university with its unique and meaningful Motto of “RELEVENCE AND EXCELLENCE” continued to produce very strong cadres who are now holding keys position in different government institutions as well as with international organizations.
What make University of Juba a bit unique from other institutions of learning is its extra-academic activities that equipped students with huge knowledge and skills of which they can fit in any society. As an institution it has both administrative and student’s bodies of which Juba University Student’s Union (JUSU) is the bridge between the administrations of the students. The Union as student’s body is mandated to meet the needs of students as enshrined in the constitution (JUSU’s Constitution).
Back to the topic, Juba University Student’s Union will conduct the welcoming ceremony for the newly admitted students on Saturday 28th of this Month. What caught the eyes of the writer is the theme of the occasion which reads as “EDUCATION FOR PEACE AND DEVELOPMENT”, this is very good theme especially at the time that our nation need peace and development which is only through education and I appreciate the comrades in the Union. The other fascinating thing in the upcoming occasion is about the patronage and the guest of honor. Indeed it was a right choice to invite our army chief of general staffs Gen. Paul Malong Awan as patron and First Vice president Gen. Taban Deng Gai as Guest of Honour.
The critics who always criticize for the sake of criticism may question why do JUSU brought the army chief as patron of the day, the answer is simple, general Paul Malong is one of the leaders of this country who served his people and nation with loyalty and dedication and therefore, came the right time for his sons and daughters in University of Juba to hear from him. The reason being an army chief cannot bar him from participating in such colorful occasion organized by JUSU to welcome the academic giants who made it to center of RELEVENCE AND EXCELLENCE.
These newly admitted students include sons and daughters of our martyrs whose blood cemented our national foundation and that is why it is necessary for them to have General Paul Malong as their patron to advise and encourage them on how they are going to overcome the challenges while in the campus. The relationship between Paul Malong and Juba University or South Sudanese Students in different universities being in the country or outside did not started yesterday or today, it dated back to those dark days of our struggle for freedom, he has been there always when the students need him and shall continue to be there.
WHAT DO THE STUDENTS EXPECT TO HEAR FROM GEN. PAUL MALONG & GEN.TABAN DENG?
As we are all sentient that our government is implementing the ARCISS, it will be the high time for the first vice President Gen. Taban to tell the students how far the implementation of the agreement is and what the government of national unity is doing to recover what I called self-inflicting economic hardship. Mr. first vice president, thing s are not easy for Juba University students, a photocopying prices for one page is five South Sudanese Pounds and some lecturers gives more than seventy pages as course guideline for one subject given the facts that some colleges usually have more than ten course per semester, if you multiply five pounds times seventy pages it will give you three hundred and fifty pounds per a course guide, multiply three hundred and fifty by eleven courses, it will give you three thousand eight hundred and fifty pounds, this is only course guide without other reading materials commonly known as handouts or sheets.
If you add the transport from Gurei, Gumbo, Hai referendum, Mangateen, Jebel Dinka and other far areas around Juba then, you will see that our students are really suffering and that is why I should term them as DETERMINED SURVIVORS, with all these challenges they are determine to push on with their studies. The challenges are more and I will not explain them all because they are known by everybody. Mr. First vice president, the students will be eager to hear from you what the government of national unity is doing to reconcile our societies to speak one voice as South Sudanese but not tribes. What is your government doing for thousands of sons and daughters of our heroes who have no access to higher institutions of learning? The expectations of our students are high Mr. first vice president. You have been one day a student of University of Juba, am sure that you know all the challenges that faced University of Juba because you are an alumni.
The writer was one of the students whom you provided with water tank in 2012 as an answer to the students who cry for lack of water when you were a governor of the then Unity state, it was the same JUSU that organized the welcoming ceremony for first year students in 2012 of which you were a Guest of Honour. For your information Gen. Taban, the students of Juba never benefited from the water tank you gave in 2012, the JUSU was dissolved by the previous administration of Prof. Aggrey Abate and parked the water tank for the reasons best known to him. For your recognition and appreciation, JUSU duration of self-determination marked the water tank as “DONATED BY UNITY STATE GOVERNOR TO JUSU. As we speak that water tank is still parking at northern part of the campus near the garage due to lack of spare parts.
Mr. first Vice president Water is essential for survival, our students need water and feeding and they expect you to do something, you need to listen to them and take their challenges to our President Gen. Salva Kiir so that you sit together and find some possible ways of solving some of their problems. Our female’s students in the hostel always go out to look for water through what is commonly/famously known as “sharing” a familiar word to any graduate or student of Juba University. They collect from themselves the little money they have to buy water, forget food and other female’s student’s needs. Am bringing this into your attention because there are some few lecturers who don’t need the welfare of our students and that is why the previous administration dissolved JUSU which was the voice of students and park the water tank, according to information the writer have in hand, the water tank lack spare parts and something need to be done either to donate new one or to repair the old one.
I just learned few days back that there are voices mobilizing for strikes, these are few lecturers who are not happy with the way that the vice chancellor Professor John A. Akech is running the administration. These are lazy lecturers who want to keep our students hostage not to graduate on time. Professor John Akec managed to brought back the yearly graduation, original certificates compare to A4 of Prof. Aggrey, timely reopening of the university according to academic calendar which the few lazy lecturers don’t like, reinstitution of students body JUSU which was dissolved by previous administration. These are some of the changes that some lecturer don’t like. When Professor John Akec tell them to perform their work urgently and professionally as required by the academic calendar, they call it to be an intimidation by the vice chancellor.
Coming to General Paul Malong Awan, there is no doubt about what he is going to do for our students because he has been answering to the challenges of our students since he was a governor of then Northern Bahr el Ghazal state. The writer will not narrate what he expect from him because he knows what he is going to do for Juba university students. Beyond reasonable doubt, our students and South Sudanese in general are all aware the national role played by Gen. Paul Malong during the crisis in our country, he proved to be the chief of the national army by ordering our forces to act professionally as mandated by the constitution and that is why we celebrated the Christmas and new year eve peacefully. The Juba university students expect from General Paul Malong to keep on providing security in coordination with his colleagues in other organized forces so that our students always go back to their far residences after lectures without fearing of unknown gunman.
Before conclusion I would like to bring into the attention of our two leaders that University of Juba is one of the national Universities located in the national capital and for that matter the students are always involved in the national politics because they are concern and should give their views as researcher. There used to be political rallies in the campus in which students debate politically and convince each other logically and I always flabbergasted when some individuals outside there cheaply concluded that students of Juba University are just there for politics and that is why they don’t graduated on time. Yes, there are students who spent more than their expected years in various colleges/programs and the only reason has been unstable academic calendar, the writer of this article is one of the students who spent six years instead of four years for law school and the reason was the closure of all national universities in 2011 and closure of Juba University for nine months in 2012.
What is not known by some individuals out there is that, University Students is not just there for classes, library and go home. The center for RELEVANCE AND EXCELLENCE was not established to produce weak/quantity cadres, it has been and shall continue to train quality/strong cadres that are academically and politically equipped to fit in various institutions. We have strong cadres who are product of Juba university currently serving the nation in different capacities, those of Kuel Aguer Kuel, Rizik Zacharia Hassan, Ustaz Lewis Anei (a writer), Dr. Ahmed Marghan (a writer and economist), Dr. Kimo Aban the renowned economist, Late Comrade James Kuot Akuekrot whose current JUSU duration is named after, Gen. Taban Deng Gai just to mention the few.
Finally, I would like to extend my congratulations to my fellow first year students for being qualified for admission to center of RELEVANCE AND EXCELLENCE but don’t forget that “admission to University of Juba is one thing and to maintain it is too different thing”, I wish you all the best in your academic endeavor.
Bol Madut Ayii Holds LL.B (Bachelor of laws) from University of Juba and currently an LL.M (Master of laws) candidate, reachable via firstname.lastname@example.org or +211956252721
The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made are the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB) website. If you want to submit an opinion article or news analysis, please email it to email@example.com. SSB do reserve the right to edit material before publication. Please include your full name, email address, city and the country you are writing from.