South Sudan: We Choose Poverty to Fight Poverty

Posted: December 14, 2017 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers

By Ustaz John Garang Ayii Riak, Juba, South Sudan

 politics of food

December 14, 2017 (SSB) — In our African communities in general and South Sudan in particular, a community course chosen or taken by some individuals is initially plausible and regrettably. I am talking about education as a choice of career, some of us have ventured into just as we have seen South and North Sudan war veterans suffering laughed at during these times of South Sudan independence.

Teacher are being despised by the very products of their brains, who are now Degree, Masters and PhD holders, and whose children are in vicious cycled of acquiring knowledge in the hands of every hand of teachers, now made crumbs of the nation.

Although education is a backbone and key towards the development in this time of our country’s evolution, some of self-preached literates look at education career as dirty career, because of Sabashiir (chalk) and regard it as less profitable profession. Such individuals think that education career is non-prestigious and non-developmental, that there is no much money in the education career.

For example, one of my colleagues asked, which course did you do at your University level? I replied Bachelor of Arts with Education.” He contemptibly pulled his face. Why? I asked him, he replied not well because of two reasons; it’s poverty and second, it’s dirty I dislike being choked by chalk.

I told him that, “If all services were cash, cash, cash… I bet we South Sudanese would not achieve this CPA which led our nation into independence; I mean our first martyrs would not pick up guns and fight without salaries.

We chose teaching career to service our nation. Africa in general and South Sudan in particular chained together by one common denominator such as illiteracy, poverty and disease. For this reason we teachers sacrifice ourselves to fight the eminent disease by choosing to fight ignorance (illiteracy) which will in turn eliminate poverty effects. If our critics see this as choosing poverty, it is just a lie, there is no bad career. After all, we choose poverty to fight to fight, ignorance is poverty.

Secondly, the chalk (sabahiir) which is seen to be dirty represents the brain. As we handle that white powder (chalk) on the blackboard, we handling that white powder power (brain) into a child’s head. Understand in this way, people send their children with empty-headed, but teachers fill their heads with abundantly knowledge and wisdom in what they are boasting around that my child is educated.

Teacher is producer of all products, such as doctors, engineers, politicians, musicians etc and all these giants are products of this white substance called chalk. I call upon all teachers to raise up fight this poverty called illiteracy which is the common disease in South Sudan.

Teachers are despised by parents, authorities and students as well unknowingly that they are the backbone of our struggle in terms of information and education, which are the power we need in our national building struggle. Without prioritizing teaching career, enlightening and sensitizing population about dangers of illiteracy, we would lose direction in the process of national building.

Call to:

I call the Government of the Republic of South Sudan to prioritize education by putting more money in the department of teacher service in order to stop the rampant job migrant by the teachers to other sector well moneyed and well managed. Like in USA, 80% of the national budget is allocated to the education department.

I am calling upon both the PTA and teachers organize and strengthening their relationship in the form of Parents-Teachers Association (PTA) in order to link their children (school) and the government, besides coordinating the whole process of learning in this literacy enhancement triangle (parents/ teachers-students-government.

I call upon the educational organizations who are operating in South Sudan to allocate more money in the education sector, such NGOs Save the Children, Plan International, Windle Trust, NRC, UNICEF, Finn Church Aid, USAID, EIE, EFA, Room To Learn, Food for Hungry, Hold the Child, Save the Children, C&D,  etc to fund the education sector.

I have observed that South Sudan is leading in the region in terms of NGOs both International and indigenous NGOs but nothing is developing in the education field. Therefore, I am calling upon various NGOs in South Sudan to deep their hands into their accounts and rescue this nation from being killed by illiteracy.

I appeal to all the education partners to pull up their socks in order to prevent education from being collapse by increasing teachers’ salaries and other allowances because the work they are doing is too much and they are receiving less compare to the task they are doing, while other professionals who are doing less are receiving more money.

Eventually teacher cannot go to a classroom when the stomach is empty or wearing old clothes and torn shoes, Teacher can teach well when his or her personal’s needs are made.


I must reveal this to the public that government schools will collapse later, if we don’t allocate more funds to 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 need a better education in South Sudan, Government should increase teachers’ salary and introduce some allowances in order to boost teachers’ morale.

It has been observed that many NGOs in South Sudan that higher percentage of funds that have been wasted in the non-developmental and non-profitable activities rather investing it in education, because education is the key toward the development and prosperity. Believe or not? Education is the best weapon to fight poverty, if we need development of our newest nation and there is no country that can develop without good education system because education is the key toward the development.

The author is an educationist holding Bachelor of Arts in Education, from Bugema University, Kampala Uganda. He had been working with Windle Trust International as a Tutor for almost five years and Plan International; He is a Teaching Assistant at Dr. John Garang Memorial University of Science and Technology in Bor. And can be reached at: ( N.B: 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.

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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