Is the first unified primary examination a step toward national cohesion and integration?

Posted: December 12, 2017 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Education, Junub Sudan, Longar Mathiec Wol, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers

By Longar Mathiec Wol, Juba, South Sudan


December 12, 2017 (SSB) — As the national dialogue kick off and the nation working toward unifying and stabilizing the peace thirsty nation through people to people consultation where people continue to give their views on how the current crisis in the country could be resolved once and for all. Personally, I think the efforts worth it; though the country still bleeding and the level of excruciation reached its climax still the peace loving South Sudanese believe peace is attainable even if it’s taking longer to come.

These peace lovers believe that all the sources should be exhausted no stone should be left unturned till the peace is achieved. The race toward saving South Sudan should be through multi-avenues efforts not only political means; but also social means through education as the alternative that could bring peace in the country.

However, as people trying to find the root cause of the conflict and how to address them. In some circumstances, people believe that one cause of the conflict is the ethnic isolation. This isolation happened when the people confined themselves only in the places where they were born and their ethnophobia and negative perception toward other ethnic continues to grow stronger and persist.

But the question people have been and should be asking themselves is how to break this chain of ethnic isolation within South Sudan? That depends on who answer that question, but one of the ways to break this chain is through unified national activities and the one of these is the unified national primary examination. The question that might be lingering in your mind is how? Though your expectation might not be satisfied by the answers then we will look at some of the answers a little later.

As the nation headed toward unified national primary examination on December 11th, 2017 I wish the pupils who are taking their exams all the best in their respective examinations. It’s one of the milestones toward strong unified education system in the country. It hasn’t just happened out of the blue but there are people involved in making it happened. My heartfelt congratulation goes to the minister of General education and instruction Hon. Deng Deng Hoc and his team for the well-done job.

In every country the primary leaving examination is unified and the selection of the pupils joining high schools are selected randomly to join the national secondary schools of their choice across the nation. In South Sudan, the case is different since every state does its own primary examination before this year exam giving the nation different standard.

Some of the reasons why some of us who had been advocating or who believe in the unified primary examination are enormous and this our day to say the dream has been realized. These reasons why the unified primary examination is good for the country to include: the unification and implementation of the same national curriculum, breaking the ethnic barriers and leading to the eradication of ethnophobia and contribute toward national cohesion.

The problem is how it’s going to achieve, but since the process had already kicked off the next step should how the nation works toward achieving the aforementioned.

As I promised you above to look into how the unification would help to eliminate some of the barriers to peaceful coexistence; is to translate some of the unified factors into action that will positively impact or benefit the nation. When you look keenly on some of the reasons I provided above, for instance, unification of curriculum, elimination of social or ethnic isolation and so forth with strategies put in place to convert this diversity into our strength then we will realize that they are capable of making changes.

The children will learn the same pieces of stuff across the nation and increase the level of socialization in the country through admitting them all over the country regardless of the culture, tribe and the region.

That can only happen if the government establish national boarding school because you cannot expect a young child from another region to survive in the day school in another region with this deteriorating economic situation. In the nation torn by the tribal war, the only remedy is to encourage the unifying national factors ranging from sports and education and et cetera.

For instance, when we look unified examination is obviously a unified curriculum where the children of South Sudan in every corner of South Sudan learn the same material and sit the same exam. That gives the room for continuing improvement of the syllabuses.

Our education system is the weakest in the whole of East Africa and is shameful, some of our students are struggling to gain admission in some of east Africa universities. I have seen many students who had been rejected in some universities or being demoted from attending the level of the classes they reached in South Sudan simply because they have hold reports from South Sudan or South Sudan secondary certificates because they believe the educational standard is weak. It’s time to work toward strengthening our curriculum and education system of our country.

The unified education system will lead to the breaking down the ethnic barrier and reduce the level of ethnophobia among the ethnic groups in the country. But how is it going to happen? It will happen through the selection to secondary schools process, for instance, some of the children who did their primary leaving exam in Bahr el Ghazal could be admitted in the high school in Upper Nile some from Upper Nile to Equatoria and Equatoria to Bahr el Ghazal etc.

In that mixed up, the children will grow up with the diverse cultural background. It would also give them chance to analyze some of the negative rumors they have been told about others communities.

For us to prevent the future tribal conflict or something in nature we should make sure that our children learn how to coexist right from the time they are young. It’s hard for the conflict to occur in the situation where many people socially coexist and therefore, the education is one tool that should be used to build the strong cohesive society in our country. When the young people know themselves and learn different cultures among themselves it will eliminate the ethnophobia and lead to the more cohesive nation.

It’s hard for someone from Bahr el Ghazal, Equatoria and Upper Nile who their children are studying in the different region will continue to preach the tribalism and hatred knowing that their children might be knowledgeable of that false negativity through coexistence with others. Those children when they finish their studies and come back to their communities will be the ambassadors of peace in their communities. They will narrate the positive part of others communities that their parents don’t know.

In conclusion, the steps taken by the ministry to unify the primary examination is one of many steps toward unifying the nation. In the country where there is no proper education system is always in war because the illiterate population with diverse culture is the disasters to itself. Now that the primary leaving examination has been unified, the selection of high schools should also be unified so that the children study from different regions in order to experience others tribes’ cultures.

The author, Longar Mathiec Wol, is a South Sudanese concern citizen. He can be reached through email address:

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 SSB do reserve the right to edit material before publication. Please include your full name, email address and the country you are writing from, plus a concise biography of yourself.

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