Home | News    Saturday 31 July 2010

South Sudan education ministry to address language barrier among officials


By Ngor Arol Garang

July 29, 2010 (KHARTOUM) – Southern Sudan’s ministry of Education has revealed difficulties faced in verbal language communications among staff.

It is no common knowledge to hear some government officials in the regional semi autonomous government of Southern Sudan complaining that most of the newly recruited university graduate possesses a certificate, but cannot deliver or do the actual work assigned.

The regional government has since formation in 2005 experienced in hiring people who know exactly the importance of people’s skills and ability to deliver expected output without which, the educational qualification becomes important but less useful.

Victor Akok Anei, Director for administration in the ministry of education who has taught for years as a teacher by profession, told Sudan Tribune from Juba on Thursday that it is quite common coming across people with great ideas, theories and ways to solve complex problems, but they fail to put it in practice or communicate the ideas clearly or effectively. He said the situation has hence been complicating the process to delivery and ultimate realizing envisaged goals.

Anei added that a recent research carried by the ministry has revealed that some of graduating students’ exhibit problems in delivering what is written in their certificates or degrees while others have expression or communication difficulties when it comes to puting what they have learnt into practice.

“Some hardly prove percentages allocated to them on certificates. You can see on the document that the person is indeed a graduate and qualified for an appointment but it becomes difficult when given an opportunity to express themselves,” he said.

The use of English as a medium of instruction in schools across Southern Sudan right away from primary to university is entrenched in education policy, and apart from few selected public schools and the privately owned English medium schools, primary schools uses local dialects as medium of instruction and English is taught as a subject.

This has had a bearing in development of students at secondary school and higher level particularly in science, mathematics and other subjects as these are now taught in English and they are supposed to comprehend to be able to write their examinations.

Anei urged that language is about choice, speaking rights, representation, and since language is inseparable from politics and development, he added, it becomes a prerequisite for socioeconomic development in any community.

“At our time we had to struggle to speak English even at lower level of primary. We also encouraged those primary pupils and students we taught particularly in Majak Akoon, Northern Bahr el Ghazal, where I taught before I became commissioner of the area,” he added.

“This time around, we at the regional ministry of education have resolved to ensure that our children are adequately equipped to be able to think clearly and act rightly,” he said.

The Minister for Education, Dr. Michael Milly Hussein, while opening a private school constructed by family of late Dr. John Garang de Mabior in Juba, remarked that the government plans to address language barrier problems from this fiscal year. “The government has already realized the problem and has sought interventions not only on the language barrier but also in mathematics and science related subjects,” he said.

“We are aware of the deficiencies emerging from English, mathematics and science related subjects. The government has set to address them effectively this financial year,” he said, adding if this is addressed it will end public outcry that government officials take their children to foreign countries for better education.

“If proper education system from these foreign countries is imported to Southern Sudan, there will be no reasons our people would take their children to countries where they end up learning different cultures, history and geography as opposed to their own,” said Dr. Milly Hussein on a televised statement on SSTV on Tuesday.

He said the government was from this fiscal year set to invest more resources on these subjects in order to create more experts who will contribute greatly to economic development.

Apart from mathematics, more insistence on science subjects will be made from secondary schools by creating more conducive and facilitative environment for students to learn more intelligibly. The government has already formed a committee to undertake research on how to address these academic problems in order that it may remain a history, said the education minister.

But teacher Victor urged that the higher learning institutions provide learning methodologies while the remaining part should be filled up by the students themselves.

“Most students particularly graduates from higher learning institutions like universities think learning ends with the graduation. Learning is a continuous process that has no end. After graduating, it starts a period of practice which goes together with the deepening of the skills obtained from the university,” he explained.

He said there is a need for graduates to have focus, perseverance and dedicate their professional life to deepening all what they learnt at the universities in order to make themselves more competent particularly when it comes to job competition in the labor market and promotions.


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  • 31 July 2010 06:46, by Aarai Baka

    Oh God, the people who cannot comprehended are people like Gatweck who got their degrees onlines and come to South and claimed that, he’s Dr Gatwech, with CPA(certified public Acountant). I know bunch of people like gatwech got their certification in that way.

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    • 31 July 2010 06:54, by Aarai Baka

      this is Gatwech right here Image and video hosting by TinyPic

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      • 31 July 2010 07:19, by Hillary B.M.L,M

        It is stupid to display someone image which is not really his original face on this Web.
        I suggests, we should have Professional ethic otherwise it is not wise.

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      • 31 July 2010 07:49, by maumau

        So what?, is it Gatwech?, na.

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  • 31 July 2010 06:51, by Black tiger

    They have good qualifications in papers and poor performances at work place because they bought those certificates & degrees in the market not obtained by right procedures of academic background.

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  • 31 July 2010 07:11, by Dinka Boy

    You make me laugh to tears.This is not asurprise that those unfitted individual in term of education takes the job while they can not expressed themselves in the public. I agree with my brother who said that some people just recieved their degrees on line in the uncredited schools and boast that they got their papers.We need to employed competetable person who has demostrate the level of education to fit the job. Interviews must be conducted to filtered those pretenders who can not do the job. We know each other and people who like bribes and the other less competitors will acquire their jobs from nowhere. Thanks

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    • 31 July 2010 08:48, by Sombiri

      A secondary school leaver of 30 years ago is much,much better compared to most graduates of the El Engaz era. Some claim to have scored 80 % in English Language in the Sudan School Certificate . A graduate who can not write an application in Englisg nor can defferentiate a CV from a Resume , what a pity.

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      • 31 July 2010 09:33, by Aparana

        Dear All!!

        I am working as a director in one of the ministries in The Governmen of South Sudan GOSS. To our findings it is suprising to see that, those graduateS from Sudan including those who studied in Arabic are really performing better than their counter parts with degrees and certificates from East African countries. I think, the reason could be, most of those degrees form East African Universities and colleges are either FAKE or of lower standards.


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  • 31 July 2010 10:35, by Akolde Nhiak Jinub

    Dear Aparana,

    You are very bias!!

    This is not true to utter that a group or all from East Africa are the ones possessing fake certificates or have fought qualifications.

    Let me say the least, I am a secondary school leaver and possessing a certificate in Journalism and Radio Production. Since I left seconday school, I have had worked with international organisations and I have attended interviews with some colleagues from northern Sudan who possessed degrees and masters; some of whom couldn’t express themselves before the panel. In most cases, I was always selected for the postion(s).

    I am not saying that those who have acquired their education in East Africa are angels. There are dulls and evils among them. However, three quarters from northern Sudan; and who have had their education in Sudanese public Secondary/high schools, universities or colleges are the worse. I remember reading an article on this very website of Sudan Tribune about Sudan education that has fallen short of world educational qualification! It was entitled; Sudan Education Degeneration... April 2007.

    It was written by one of the most respected Sudanese educationalist and a professor and who had lamented of the degeneration of education in Sudan since 1980s. Nothing can come out of Sudan being led by a dictator Marshel Bashir. All dictators fight education to make sure that it is blemish! This is fact.Uganda can follow, because Museveni learning institutions. If I were to have time, I would have put across, some of the wrong sentence construction that many officials utter as they address public. One of them is: I was been to Juba or I was been talking to youth at....!!!
    This English doesn’t exist anywhere in the world of English. Some of you might have heard this, believe me!
    I would always bend down my head and say, oh! God help us to learn and say better English.

    Go to world educational standard ranking; Sudan trials at the least!

    I would say that the confused group could be from north Sudan, who were / are being taught in English when a teacher or lecturer is using arabic as a language of instruction. What does this mean!!!?? Examinations or certificates are being bought in Khartoum. I have gone there to testify myself.

    Let’s also acknowledge War as being one of the factors that many could not learn and are tempted to buying certificates to get jobs and be rich quickly!

    I have been working with a world leading humanitarian Organisation for the last three years and untill now and my performance is beyond my eduactional certificates of secondary school and a college certificate. You don’t know what you have said on this website. Please, swallow it!

    Akolde N. Jinub, Rumbek South Sudan.

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  • 31 July 2010 20:39, by Deng Ateny Lueth

    thanks be accorded to you sir. being on alert at all times especially if you are leading an institution such as education ministry deserve a person with foresight vision like you doc. now what you have pointed out is truly chronic to us all.but thanks to your prophetic warning though. i find myself in that same condition you are talking about.i will indeed takes your statement as source of early enlightment and encouragement in order to prefect whatever i have already acquired in college.

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