Education for a better generation
By Akol Arop Akol
The papers are being signed, which is a way towards achieving peace and reconciliation as part of change to erase the sorrows from our hearts, but the children’s minds will still keep memories of atrocities that happened in their presence.
They would want to be socially and morally transformed such that instead of thinking about wars they should think about education.
An environment where children always play in groups shows signs of peace and harmony among the families or communities.
I was in a situation where more hopes filled my heart and I believed that children are the source of peace in the community when brought up well.
At first I saw the compound filled with students in different uniforms and later I understood they were coming for a debate organized by the Grand Debaters Associations. I could see the staff putting on T-shirts and emerged into the debating Hall.
I heard Master of Ceremonies calling in all students and shortly, the ground became hot, there were great speakers whose speeches though I enjoyed listening when I was outside.
Through their points of argument it means they were sharing ideas, educating one another and signifying solutions to problems facing students and entire education system in South Sudan.
These kinds of NGOs and Associations that bring people together need to be appreciated, complemented and encouraged to continue bringing more changes through educative activities.
I was reading a novel when suddenly some young kids of about 2-4 years came running into the playing ground. I thought something was chasing them but their facial expressions revealed they were happily coming to play. They were smarter than I thought.
They were commanded politely by a certain woman to put down their bags and then go to play. They ran towards Super Open Spiral and Boulder point equipment.
People near me were wondering which school it could be. Their uniforms were written C.I.S which stands for Cambridge International School.
To my amazement, they all speak in eloquence English more than Secondary School students and this made me think they were brought from somewhere abroad. But later, I heard their teacher calling names like Deng, Aman, Ladule And I realized they were South Sudanese.
Their school is operating with British Syllabuses which is different from South Sudan. What matters is knowledge and another thing is, these children are being educated in their home country.
I told myself that the coming/growing generation will no longer be illiterate. Imagine, speaking English at the age of 2? This is an indication of what the future holds if the nation embraces peace and foster literacy.
Therefore, we expect our Ministry of Education to make sure more schools are built and teachers get trained to skillfully and professionally equip the young ones with knowledge.
Some years back, we heard parents sending their children to Uganda and Kenya for studies. When crisis started, getting Dollars became a pandemic which resulted into dropping out of students from schools as well as being repatriated.
Now, if South Sudan becomes a fully-subscribed member of the East African Community, we shall be supporting one another in business, education and several developmental projects.
Anyone who is appointed as a Minister of Education has to make sure a reasonable percentage or budget is allocated for education. It is time to let our children go to school for learning to get a good future different from ours that has been broken by civil wars.