Opinion

Examination period inspiration (Part 1)

By: Akol Arop Akol

The saying ‘’Education is the tool and school is the best home’’ is a strong message that I quoted from my poem that I composed last year during the last days of walking out of high school. The poem was posted on the school page and after I read comments, the commentators focused much on these last words but I didn’t took it seriously.

Today something motivated me to borrow the words from my poem to use in writing this article and the rest that will follow under ‘’Examination period Inspiration’’ where I will be encouraging students (candidates), highlighting the importance of education and appreciating the people making education effective during hard times .

All over the country now, the S4 candidates are busy with their final examinations to mark the end of the 4 years of secondary school. As I was brushing in the morning students were passing near me, dressed smartly in uniform and with smiley faces, some few were walking with their heads up maybe thinking of how the papers would be.

Some of them said hi to me, and I replied with kind greetings and wished them success. And the words I received back were ‘thank you, pleasure and Amen.’ Examination period is when students behave like all Christians or believers and good Samaritans. All neighbors and strangers they meet on the way become their friends.

That is how students behave during examination days; even the rude and stubborn ones become humble and friendly. They walk looking around to see who is around and eagerly wait to hear words like, ‘take courage, wish you success and so forth. They become good believers and ready-receivers of blessings at examination times. They see everyone like a pastor, and they feel that wishes can make them succeed.

This morning of the first day of examination, the 16th of December 2019, I saw several Bongo buses, about 10 of them or more were lifting passengers to Buluk, to a school called Juba Technical. I was surprised who could be those inside the buses, but while standing and surprised, a certain man dressed in police uniforms with 2-Stars was also watching. He begun commenting that those were students from UNMISS POCs.

Last year, someone mentioned that people from UNMISS were brought and escorted by UN personnel, but he wrongly narrated that those candidates are workers, but on Monday 16th I saw only young students dressed in school uniforms. They were smart and looking so prepared to face the final examinations.

It is on this day that I understood UNMISS is accommodating a big number of IDPs and taking care of school-aged children. I thought those students used to come out of the compound and go to different schools of Juba City but someone also told me they are being taught within the UNMISS compound.

I asked myself, if UNMISS was not there to provide settlement of the displaced civilians, provide food assistance, medical care and education for children; where would the IDPs be today? And who would support them?

I asked myself, would the government really accommodate them all and meet their basic needs? Would government listen and understand that the conflicts which occurred have left women as single mothers and children orphaned without someone caring for them?

Leave alone education, food is the first human need, and if one cannot eat for days, he or she could not think of education. There is a need to feed the stomach and feed the brain.

It is a collective role to take education as a tool, if the generation of our fathers and mothers who are today’s leaders were well educated, they would have understood that peace and education are essential for the country to progress, but being in the bush could not allow many of them to be in school.

Coming to our generation, we took the motto ‘’Education is the tool’’ or ‘education is the key’ from scholars knowing that it is our time to study and acquire skills and knowledge that would make us design our lives and build the country socially, economically and politically once we become leaders.

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