By Paul Jimbo
I have always heard many people carelessly use a phrase, “education is key to success”. It may sound so simple but the phrase carries with it the significance it has in relation to a country’s future.
A friend of mine, who is now the late and may God rest his soul in peace, used to tell us, “There is no country that can boast of development without investing heavily in education”.
Being a cabinet minister then, my buddy would tell me that education is one single investment where one would never go wrong and urged me never to relent in my quest to acquire or educate someone.
In essence education is one sure tool for fighting poverty and illiteracy.
When a country allocates a substantial amount of its resources toward education, the country is as good as booking a safe future for its coming generations.
Education is one basic human right provision that our children are entitled to. This means that stringent measures must be put in place to ensure no child is left out of school, more so school age going children.
In no uncertain terms, there should never be any compromise when it comes to matters education. No parent should deny his or her child the right to education.
The government should also invest heavily in the education sector. This means providing learning facilities including building schools and equipping them with necessary skills.
But the catch comes here; it is not only putting up structures like classrooms, what is of significance is providing quality education. Quality education also means ensuring we have qualified and competent teachers or facilitators if you like but also relevant learning materials.
This strategy requires concerted efforts of all stakeholders including the government and partners in the education sector.
However it needs massive investment of resources to realise quality education and high skilled human resource.
It is through investment in education that a country like South Sudan can create a pool of reliable and competent human resource capable of driving a competitive economy.
Competent human resource is a key element is achieving greater economic heights and no country; South Sudan included can ignore this.
This drives me back to my original key point that investment in education whether at individual or institutional level is in itself a worthy investment.
My father is one person who believes that educations shapes the future of people and never shies away from encouraging his six children from seizing any available study opportunity.
Many at times, he encourages us to pursue education at any cost and says, “you can never go wrong with education unlike any other investment, it is a sure bet”.
At his late 60’s, today my father, a retired high school teacher confesses how pursuing further education earned him promotion and changed his fortunes when he simply enrolled back in school.
He was promoted from a primary school teacher to a high school teacher before he became the head of a major tertiary institution.
He argues that education can make a big difference and more so in the contemporary world where knowledge and awareness counts.
So he never tires to tell us that education empowers or raises one’s status and places him or her at certain reasoning level in the society.
He observes that education is in itself is directly linked to enhanced living standards because it boosts once competency levels.
On the flipside, lack of proper education can lead to irrelevancy and redundancy and can be very costly especially where competency is needed.
One of my university lecturers Mr Ayub Mwangi taught us that education enables people to reason out rationally.
“You can easily tell how people react, reason, talk, behave and even handle themselves just because of education,” Mr Mwangi says.
He says that education enables one to view situational contexts and act from informed positions, more so where morals are required.