Factors Affecting Education in South Sudan

Posted: November 3, 2017 by PaanLuel Wël in Commentary, Contributing Writers, Education, Junub Sudan, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers

By Ustaz John Garang Ayii Riak, Bor, South Sudan

education

November 3, 2017 (SSB) — South Sudan as an independent Country is trying to develop her education system since the time of signing CPA in 2005 up to now in order to have its own recognized education system likes any other country in the world, but there are many factors that affecting the education development as below;

The big problem in the education system is the investment of little money in the education sector; since investing in education involves policy choices with financial disciplines; our government has been allocating insufficient money to the education sector. There is a serious need to invest a lot of funds in the education department in order to speed up the development of our national education system, today the money given to the education sector is too inadequate to match the education demands, such as teachers’ salary, plus other allowances e.g. house, chalk, dressing, medical, feed, accommodation, and transportation allowances that is why you have heard the on-going Jonglei State Teachers striking demanding housing allowances, salary increment, and promotion before resuming their duties. 

They are supposed to be given allowances because the work they are doing is too much, but they are receiving less compare to their task, while others who are doing less are receiving more money. Eventually, a teacher cannot go to a classroom when a stomach is empty or wearing old clothes and torn shoes, Teacher can teach well when his or her personal needs are made. I must reveal this bad news to the public that government schools will collapse sooner or later, if we don’t put more attention in an allocation of funds into education sector more teachers from the few we have, will desert their teaching professions to join either private schools or NGOs based on the above-mentioned factors.

Therefore, if we really want a better education in S.Sudan, Government should increase teachers’ salary and introduce some allowances in order to boost teachers’ morale. Civil wars and insecurity or fear of unknown gunmen is another factor affecting education in the country. Lack of unified Curriculum and one calendar is the other reason behind the factors affecting education in South Sudan in the country.

The other factor that hindering the system improvement is the appointment of unqualified or inexperienced persons to hold offices in the Ministries of Education and institutions such as from primary school, secondary, vocational schools, higher tertiary institutions and special education. For instance, most of those who are currently at all levels are either less qualified or lack professional skills; they did not go to teachers’ training colleges.

They are not supposed to be given orientation courses before taking up teaching, because teaching does not mean writing or reading notes, to be a professional teacher means that one should first undergo through teachers’ training college or faculty of education in order to study teaching subjects and other teaching career courses which are related to classroom management and disciplines, courses like teaching methodologies, techniques, educational philosophy and psychology, and many other courses related to teaching career. People with these qualifications can improve and bring tremendous results in the education system.

But now they are not there in the Ministries of Education and even in the schools. I believe that there are competent people in the nation and they are willing to teach, but the reason why they are not in the Ministry of Education is that they are not given an opportunity to serve the education sector.

To add on, lack of proper planning and budgeting led to the deterioration of education system in the country. Poor planning and budgeting is another big factor hindering the development of education system in our nation, it is necessary to take into account the changes and reforms needed in planning and budgeting in an allocation of funds into the Education sector. Financial planners should have a clear data for example; physical data relating to enrolments and other quantities, financial data relating to costs and expenditure, and economic data relating to the economy as a whole.

This below data is very important to the Ministries of Finance and Education and they should know the data of each of the following; the Labor force e.g. number of teaching staff and non-teaching staff, raw materials e.g. students, commutable materials and so on. Service e.g. Medicines, electricity, water, postal and communications etc and the money should be allocated to the Education according to data and all should be commuted in term of dollars or South Sudanese pounds. Therefore, prior preparation, proper planning, and budgeting should be done by the Ministries of Finances and Educations at national and state levels in order to have a standardized system of education in our country.

Lack of in-service, professional growth training or capacity building for teachers is another factor hampering the improvement of educational system in our newest nation: There are old teachers with little education background who have been in the teaching profession, but there is no policy to upgrade them, they are still holding the top positions, they are using the outdated knowledge of doing things in the 1970s and 1980s. They are rigid to the new changes and the new technology applications and skills. These old teachers should either be upgraded or replaced with the qualified ones.

To add on to the above mentioned; there is a rampant corruption in employing teachers in the Education Ministry for those who have been already in the system. There is neither good way of employing teachers nor the good policy of promoting them. Employment and promotion are supposed to be done through interview and merit based on proper assessment of job performance.

Furthermore, lack of road network hinders the development and improvement of education some state and counties with poor road networks like Jonglei state compels some teachers to stay in the state headquarter and no teachers’ rotation. Beside the above mentioned, lack of feeding and sleeping accommodation system is a big factor that affects both teachers as well as students when they go back to their homes during their lunchtimes and after lunch, they don’t come back again for classes.

Apart from the above-mentioned factors, Lack of integration of Information Communication and Technology (I.T.C) in Education Management, the government should plan for an I.T.C Training program for teachers, first is to motivate them to learn knowledge and skills and competencies in order to find more answers for unanswered questions in their respective fields.

One of the negative factors is the absence of national curriculum which can guide teachers on teaching syllabi.

Lack of libraries, reading and research center and teaching resources or learning aids to demonstrates some difficult subjects and promotion of students who failed to next academic class is another factor affecting education in S. Sudan. Lastly; lack of government policy to impose national education policy, for example, the government top officials don’t value our home-education right away from the president up to the watchman their children have been sent to foreign countries to study there in abroad. Believe me or not? There is no a person or top official in this country who allow his/ her children to study in South Sudan.

Lastly; all their children are studying either in E. Africa or beyond. Therefore, our education cannot develop without government policy because it is a duty of the government to impose laws on politicians and senior officials to bring their children back home and if the children of the policy-makers are studying within the country the education system can easily develop and giving first priority to those who have studied at the national institutions in order to promote home based-education.

There is no country that can develop without good education system because education is the key to the development. Education has been proven itself to be a means of avoiding poverty because the contributions made by an educated person to the nation are often much higher. Education supports good governance since the educated population is more likely to see the benefits of life and comply with the rule of laws and regulations.

Therefore, South Sudan needs massive reforms in the planning and budgeting in the Ministries of Finance and Education by putting more money this will make the great difference because education is a debt that the present generations owe to future generations.

Ustaz John Garang Ayii Riak, the Author, is an Educationist with BA in Education. He is also Teaching Assistant at Dr. John Garang Memorial University of Science and Technology, Bor. He lives in Bor Jonglei State. Can be reached (johngayii2014@gmail.com)

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made is 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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