Education as an apparatus for quelling tribal conflicts in South Sudan

QUOTE: “Every time you stop a school, you will have to build a jail. What you gain at one end you lose at the other. It’s like feeding a dog on his own tail. It won’t fatten the dog.”
~Mark Twain~

BY: DHAAL MAPOUR ATERDIT, RUMBEK, LAKES STATE, MAY/10/2013, SSN;

South Sudan is a country characterized by serious and weighty brutal tribal conflicts. These clashes led to heavy extinctions of human lives and great loses of material properties. It brought about a profound setback in the area of development. A huge lump sum of money is allocated for insecurity across the country. These funds are either given directly to the States’ Ministries of Local Government and Law Enforcement Agency, Army Divisions or given to the Federal Ministries of Defence and Interior.

This was at any rate considered as a good trial, and must be applauded. All these trials were made for an attempt to quell the tribal wars across the country. There were some of the international organizations which funded the processes for making South Sudan a country free of communal conflicts.

The concern of both Juba government and international bodies was uniformly staged against needless deaths necessitated by pitiless clannish or tribal fights, destructions and losses of properties.

Although these efforts didn’t bring the conflicts to an end in full measures, I must send the waves of thanks to those who contributed positively to the well being and social stability of South Sudanese.

During six years of semi-autonomy which is in other words referred to as Interim Period in Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) up to the present moment, our country has been undergoing cycles of tribal fights. Analytically, these conflicts are seen as continuation of the traditional and ancestral fights carried over by the generations of ancestors to their heirs.

There are some traditional mythologies and ideologies that convey perceptions which might both be wrong or factual and harmfully affect today’s innovative philosophy.

The only way I have seen as an instrument for combating insecurity in this country is to promote education at all levels. Education is necessarily essential to be prioritized as a number one main concern by the Republic of South Sudan. This is just because education is the tool for any progress and civilization.

The crucial portrayal of education is the change of behaviors. I am very optimistic in a way that if our illiterate masses are allowed access to education, the occurrences of all these wars will decline.

According to a research report by the World Bank, it storied that about 27% of South Sudanese can be able to read and write while 73% is illiterate. The report showed that the percentage of trained teachers is only 10% compared to 90% of trained teachers in East Africa.

Vitally, this research reported that South Sudan spend less than 4% of an annual budget for education and much of the budget goes for insecurity and salaries.

In order to prioritize education, our government needs to adapt and authenticate Dr. John Garang’s initiative of “taking towns to people not people to towns.” Most of the primary and secondary schools exist in towns. This makes it so difficult for determined and interested rural dwellers to pursue studies because coming to towns for learning is hindered by lack of accommodation, food and other prerequisites for life in towns.

Many children whose thirst for education drive them to towns may perhaps end up in burglaries and their acts become integral part of insecurity in the towns and emit rays of headache to the government. The clear paradigm of this point is what is happening in Juba.

The places like Hai Mahona, Jebel Market, Jebel Kujur, Khor William, just to mention a few are very risky to visit at night because hooligans have penetrated much there. I have talked about places in Juba City as examples, but in actual sense a number of cases happening in other major cities are identical to those in Juba.

The “Go to School Initiative” campaign which was initiated by the Federal Ministry of Education and Instruction was one of the luminous ideas hit upon by the government. It sent a litmus test of educational system in the country.

However, as time went by, the ministry failed to put into service this initiative. Yes, the project was telling all the school-age persons to go to school when the administrators in the ministry didn’t find a necessary pathway for schooling.

The history itself revealed that South Sudan is a country denied educational privileges for so long. The educational system in South Sudan during the two decades of the then Sudan civil war was disturbed by the continuous wars in the country.

Seeing that the country has achieved independence, there is much work to be done to take schools to the people not people coming to schools. If the government considers the idea of children coming to school, this will add stack of sand and filth to its own eyes.

There are no boarding facilities built for students of far distances to live when following their learning programs in school.

Instead, I really value taking schools to the deep villages of our country so that everyone gets access to education. Those who will have chance of seeing a change will create a center of attention for their brothers and sisters to join schools and this will mean progress in all aspect.

If the president of the Republic of South Sudan could make education a rule, this will in actual fact help elevate the national economy as well as decrease of insecurity.

2 Comments

  1. Dau-network says:

    Thanks Mapour.
    We can start from state level to make education to be compulsory to any child and impose fines enforcement if the parents failed to do so, particularly secondary and primary schools if there are schools available in that area.
    In every federal government around the world, each state has to set its own policy of generating money instead of waiting funds from federal government. We should not suppose to blame a Juba’s government for what we could do.
    What are the roles of state parliaments if they failed to address the problem of education in the States!!

  2. Mangar. says:

    Great reasoning, bro Dhaal, for highlighting an issue ignored so long that South Sudan begins to feel at its critical time of advancement. but some of the ways to achieve that as you have pointed out can be the role of every one, being in the family or in the community. as an additional to those strategies, it’s up-to to us to tell our ordinary people the positive impact of education which I believe they are aware of. then again we do not have to forget our politicians, who are in one way or another war traumatized, they are the great players who even went far to the point of dividing the educated youth. if every one that can read and write read such articles like yours and reasons back, then the solution lies within.
    God bless South Sudan.

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