Due to time constrain, presenters on Education were not able to present their work during the conference. F.A.C.C has decided to publish their work so that the general public may have access to it. This work was compiled by Mr. Bol Atem Abuok of Alberta and Mr. Ayuel Malual Ayuel of Ontario. Presentation on education was divided into two parts- Part I which deals with education at Home and Part II which looks at educational situation among southerners abroad.
Authors: Mr. Bol Atem Abuok and Mr. Ayuel Malual Ayuel.
Presentation on Education: Part I
Compiled by Mr. Bol Atem Abuok.
CHAIRMAN OF AWEIL FEDERATION EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE, HONERABLE MEMBERS OF
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE, MEMBERS OF GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF AWEIL FEDERATION, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN.
It is both an honor to the Federation Executive Committee members and
to the members of general assembly to organize this gathering to discuss some fundamental issues pertaining to post war development and reconstruction in our beloved state of Northern Bahr El Ghazal - Aweil. This initiative alone
Mr. Chairman is a step forward in a right direction, even though the agenda being addressed is bigger than what we might have thought of otherwise.
First of all, education, in any country, is part and parcel of government general policy on national level and different branches of governments only participate in implementing the formulated policies of central government. In this scenario, Aweil as a state is not an exception in the process to make its own system or policy framework. As daughters and sons of Northern Bahr El Ghazal - Aweil, we have every reason to be worried and concerned about the state affairs in our region, where essential and vital services are at lacking. Itís our obligation to try our very best to support our brothers and sisters in any possible way that is appropriate within our means and reach.
Secondly, in any urban set up, or development, the fundamental services require to serve the inhabitants are schools, clean drinking water supply, and medical services and transport network just to mention but a few.
This circumstance needs joint efforts from all of us, the sons and daughters of
Aweil in Diaspora and state government authorities at home, this is simply so because the state government control the resources meant for projects of which there is budget that is allocated to education in the state for various levels. Itís worth mentioning that our focus or role should be supplemental in nature rather than taking on a full responsibility. We have to take this supportive role as common citizens who donít command any authority nor control resources to act on our own plans.
Mr. Chairman, honorable members, we would like to give you some background of various educational policies some of which were introduced and adopted then in the Sudan by the Condominium government and Missionaries that actually did a great deal of producing a good number of skilled manpower in
Southern Sudan and continued in that trend to develop more until they were forced out of the country. We are giving you this historical reality to help you plan for better future.
1. FEASIBLE EDUCATION POLICY:
When we talk about feasible education policy in the state, we are talking about support system to education, and that comes down to role-players and role-playing. In this process, the players are the governments and the communities. The communities here include both the population at home and in Diaspora and sometimes may include some NGOS which may be operating in the area and so happened to support the educational services. The government of state that holds the authority and controls the resources has to take a lead in working towards providing necessary sustainable services to its population in all surrounding areas in state. The communities on the other hand support the government where they are able to. The roles playing in this context are the beneficiaries who benefit from these joint efforts (kids). The government provides all the educational inputs: teachers, books, and equipment, etc. whereas community builds schools and maintains them.
This system served very well in Southern Sudan and had produced some significant results including a good number of our present leaders. Despite these wonderful services, Khartoum governments were not comfortable with them (Missionaries) for two reasons: first, they were opposed to the idea of educating Southern Sudanese. Secondly, the presence of missionaries was spreading Christianity rather than Islam in the South, which was going to create future problems for them. In 1965, missionaries were evicted from the Sudan, followed by arabization of education in 1968 in North with the education in the South left hanging in the balance.
In light of this, ladies and gentlemen, we recommend that Aweil communities in Diaspora commit themselves to support communities at home in the following areas:
1. Building of primary schools;
2. Supporting teachers;
3. Providing school equipments
First, we are very particular about feasible education policy because governments and communities could play their roles in the process of development and particularly of education once development policies including that of education are feasible.
Second, investing government and community resources in projects that are not feasible is a big waste and a disaster too. Itís a duty of each of us to mobilize our members of legislative assembly to direct the government to execute appropriate policies rather than engaging itself in non productive projects.
In conclusion, let us focus our discussions on feasible role of Ďsupport of educationí rather than on roles that are ambitious but not attainable and put all our efforts and energies in issues that can achieve results in both short and long terms ones. Click here to proceed to part II of the presentation.