Opinion

A better step towards quality education in the country

By James Mabior Majok.

When South Sudan certificate of secondary education examination touched down in Juba international airport (JIA) from the United Kingdom on 8th March 2021 and immediately handed over to the National security and the National police services for protection, it sends a good message to the minds of people and restore the lost hope in the Ministry of General Education and Instructions.

Examination leakage has almost been a new normal in South Sudan. One could easily then find the National examination on the streets of Juba, one or two months before examination date leaving him/her to wonder whether the leakage happens at the Ministry or at States levels.

Any government employee in the National Ministry of General Education and Instructions could easily dismiss as rumours the leakage or malt-practices of examination in the recent years, however, any honest South Sudanese can admit without hesitation that exams used to be taught in secondary schools here in Juba and other states in South Sudan or shared on WhatsApp numbers (groups) making almost everyone pass with 90s. This is undeniable, this is unbelievable! And puts the country’s institutions and future at risk.

Awut Deng Acuil is a long serving civil servant in the Republic of South Sudan who proves to be successful at anything she lays her hands on.

Beginning with her active role as secretary for information in what became known as Wunlit peace agreement that brought long lasting peace between Jieng of Bahr El Ghazal and Nuer of Western Upper Nile in 1998/9, her active participation and contributions in the comprehensive peace agreement (CPA) in early 2000s which led to her being awarded peace Awards (Interaction Humanitarian Award 2002 and Fern Holland Award 2007 ) and her undisputable achievements in different Ministerial portfolios proved beyond any reasonable doubt that she is the right person to transform the educational sector if given enough time.

However, apart from the exams being printed in the U.K and protected by security agents, it is still very important to do some couple of things which include but not limited to;

a) Training examiners and markers instead of just picking untrained teachers from various schools.

b) Transforming invigilation system by swapping invigilators; say taking some invigilators from E. Equatoria and send them to Raja and Renk and bring from Lakes and Aweil to Magwi and Lobonok and so forth.

If the same teachers teaching students are the ones invigilating them, then from common sense what can prevent them from helping their students to pass highly in order to raise the name of their school? This is what we are facing, regional competition, selfish competition!

c) Improve teachers’ payment and conditions so that they can discharge their duties with integrity and ethics since a hungry man doesn’t respect work ethics.

d) Impose tough measures on schools that are caught cheating.

It is very shameful and embarrassing for our students who passed with 90s to be deported back yearly upon securing scholarships to foreign Nations.

Securing and protecting exams is one of the most commendable steps in realizing the dream of quality education in the Republic of South Sudan but more work is needed in strengthening basic education and I have no speck of doubt in my mind that Madam Awut is the right person for the job. She is a woman of many talents, knowledge and experiences. South Sudanese expect more from you Mama!

James Mabior Majok is a medical student at Upper Nile University and can be reached via contact: +211925459990/email: mabiorjamesmawut@gmail.com.

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