Opinion

Acquire education, acquire respect

By: Agar Mayor Gai-Makoon

To educate or get educated is not just as simple as many may think. It can involve things that we do not consider the first time we thought about education at home or elsewhere. Being a somewhat kind of thing that shapes people’s lives, all are required that they at least know the alphabets no matter the language. It is a right of all, under the law of any country to learn and get the rewards of education.

Students of all ages need to be made aware, through age-appropriate lessons at all key stages, that there are different opinions, beliefs and lifestyles by popular scholars or cultures present in our society. If parents wish to promote one particular lifestyle as superior in the lives of their child, that is their absolute right, and their home is the right place in which this can and should only be done. On the other hand, it is a school’s duty to teach students about the world as it is, not as some might want it to be. However, the students should know in their minds that of all that we learn at school, respect registers the most important element of education. Without respect, we are not able to have a sustainable development in any sector. The core reason behind our disunity especially between the educated and non-educated in our country is lack of respect for some people’s rights. You find that people have divided and formed groups depending on their academic levels. The upper educated class abuses and looks down on those of a lower level thinking that what they have attained through books is more than for the other people have. In all of our social media, this is what happens. You find young people insulting the age-mates of their mothers and fathers for not reaching the perfection of the English language. People talk of papers and levels and not of respect and tolerance got from education. I have personally experienced this act from my fellows from various universities of our country. On many occasions , I have visited our public universities especially the University of Juba where I go to the library (American Corner) to get for myself a book that can make me feel engaged for one or two weeks and it is by that way which I learnt these dangerous acts by our South Sudanese higher institutional students. The first question that I always receive whenever I visit this university is “Since when did you complete secondary level that you have to come here?” This is a sign of disrespect for my personal rights and underrating of my abilities. They have forgotten that the library is for all. It does not discriminate.

Not to go far from the point, we are taken to schools such that we meet our brothers from different backgrounds as ours. In this way, we are taught tolerance and respect for the rights of others. We are taught that with education, if equitably available, of good quality, relevant and conflict sensitive, we can help promote peace and provide safe environments for all. We are enlightened on all the hindrances to a peaceful coexistence among different diversities. And by so doing, the youths get the most needed elements of a peaceful, prosperous and fair society.

On the other hand, when its delivery is characterized by exclusion and inequality, it can aggravate conflict. It is for this reason that deliberate efforts need to be made to put in place necessary policies and strategies to maximize the positive effects of education on peace and promotion of human rights. Through this can peace and equality be only and only achieved. Our young people have to put in mind that it is through respect, tolerance and equality that we are considered educated not by level or the number of theories we have read.

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