Education, the cornerstone of democratic society, produces informed citizens

Posted: July 4, 2017 by PaanLuel Wël in Commentary, Contributing Writers, Education, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers

By Ustaz Abraham Mabior Rioc, Juba, South Sudan

education

July 3, 2017 (SSB) — In the world over, education is an important tool to transform the nation into a democratic social order. This process of democratization does not come out of blue but it is achieved through the provision of quality education for all. As such, education remains a valid tool that produces informed citizens who can peacefully exercise their democratic rights in a democratic atmosphere that results into a democratic nation-state.

In the old and modern era, many people, both old and young, have been embracing education for years in order to create for them a fair and a conducive environment for democratic processes and peaceful coexistence among the citizens of a given country. This implies that education creates in people a non-threatening environment which is protective and secure for all the citizens from all works of life.

In the context of South Sudan, education has been taken for granted since the educated elites have become the marginalized of the marginalized. This means that lack of proper interpretation of education in South Sudan has led to the current crises which have engulfed the country so far.

In fact, many youths of today who should have been the school in quest of education for their future have joined senseless war in their thousands of numbers. They are being brainwashed to the extent of thinking that their fellow south Sudanese are the greatest enemies rather than using education as a unifying facto for peaceful and coexistence.

As far as the unity of the country is concerned, there is a worrying situation among the students and the south Sudanese youths who constitute the biggest number of the country’s population. In the academic setting, the university students as well as students from other training schools, whether public or private, sit or discuss their academic issues and concerns on the basis of the tribal and ethnic affiliations or groupings.

As one of the concerned citizens of South Sudan, I feel worried when seeing students sitting or eating based on their ethnic or regional settings. This is because, the students themselves have lost trust in one ethnic group or the other due to the consequences of violent conflict which has exposed the country into a devastating crises.

As such, to prove the writer wrong or right, one should pay a courtesy visit to one of the public or private universities to see for himself or herself how the students interact in their universities campus.

In fact, one would be convinced beyond reasonable doubt that there is something wrong somewhere with the south Sudanese students who are the future leaders of the country. In general, one might have observed that students from Equatoria region sit alone and this applies to the students from Bahr el Ghazal and Upper Nile regions.

This implies that there must be ethnic polarization advanced by some influential people in their various communities to create disunity among the students based on their ethnic backgrounds. I wonder if these people who are dividing the youths are nationalists or working against the nationalism of the Republic of South Sudan?

Anyway, the answer is with you my readers of this article. But, in reality, that is what it is. That is to say, the cooperative and interactive environment of the students is hijacked either internally or externally. Indeed, trust is lost and the future of our youths are so dim and confused as far as their educational aims are concerned.

As afar the National Dialogue is concerned, the minster of Higher Education, Science, and Technology and the minster of General Education and Instructions should do something tangible on the grounds to unite and coexist all students from various ethnic grounds.

This means that workshops, seminars, and conferences concerning the values of education and the future of the youths should be designed and conducted alongside the national dialogue which is underway countrywide. Since it is a very worrying situation, there is an urgent need for our leaders to emphasize peaceful coexistence and unity among the students from different ethnic backgrounds.

In an ideal world, education develops society in terms of socio-economic development, human resource development, technological development as well as peaceful coexistence among the diverse groups of the society. It is through the acquisition of meaningful education that an intellectualism of the individuals in the society is achieved.

Because of widespread ignorance of education in South Sudan, the south Sudanese communities have been divided along tribal and regional lines. Of course, the confused south Sudanese are now using dangerous tools to promote and entertain tribalism and sectarianism since it has become a habit for an each tribe to point its figure at the other with an intention to eliminate them if given a chance.

This is attributed to lack of education or inadequate preparation couple with ignorance of education of the members of the diverse ethnic group society. It is true that education produces good citizens who will grow up to make a difference in the world.

Still, meaningful education which is relevant to solve country’s problems lead to the preparation of the democratic citizens to respect their homes and community traditions as well as forging common cultures among the diverse cultural settings.

In fact, the south Sudanese communities are still glued up in solidarity since they still share the common characteristics, cultural and socio-economic preferences as far as sovereign nation is concerned. Despite of the high ethnic tensions in the country, a learned person still believes that one day the south Sudanese communities will live side by side as brothers and sisters of the same geographical sphere known as The Republic of South Sudan.

However, there are now peaceful countries in the world which one time had witnessed the same or the worst scenarios in South Sudan. Still, this will happen in the near future among the south Sudanese communities who are now overwhelmed in strong hatred and tribalism on the basis of ethnicity and regional affiliations.

In summary, education remains the cornerstone for peaceful coexistence of the people from various ethnic groups of a given country. With ignorance of education, people will continue to fight for senseless war which is very destructive until they later realize the importance and values of education after they might have finished themselves.

The writer is a holder of Bachelor’s Degree of Arts with Education (B.Ed.) from St. University in Uganda as well as being a finalist student of Master of Education in Emergencies at the University of Juba. He is reachable at mabiorr2015@gmail.com

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 paanluel2011@gmail.com. SSB do reserve the right to edit material before publication. Please include your full name, email address and the country you are writing from.

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