4 May 2012

South Sudan: Bishop Calls for Improved Education

Torit — The Catholic Bishop of Torit has urged both national and state governments to improve the education sector in order to bring up children to be good citizens and leaders of this country.

Bishop Johnson Akio Mutek said globally the aim of education has ceased from merely being a vehicle for transmitting culture from one generation to another to a powerful tool of empowering individuals with knowledge, skills and confidence they need to shape a better future for themselves.

According to the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization, education counts as it helps to eradicate poverty by boosting productivity and innovations and ostensibly open doors to jobs and credit. "One extra year of schooling increases an individual's earnings by ten per cent," said the Catholic Bishop of Torit.

Bishop Mutek made the appeal while celebrating the Good Shepherd's Sunday at St. Joseph's Narus Parish on his pastoral tour of Eastern Deanery.

He told the congregation that governments need to invest in education to shape morals of children into better and responsible persons. He suggested that governments should motivate teachers through provision of accommodation and better pay so as to offer quality education to the children.

The Bishop proposed the use of boarding schools to encourage girls and prevent forceful and early marriages by parents who do not value education.

Undoubtedly, South Sudan's education system may be off the mark in quality compared to East African States, and indeed other developed countries, but there are concerns that improved access to school ushered by introduction of the free primary education has not been accompanied by enhanced quality. "The emerging scenario is that our education system is becoming deeply rooted in inequalities linked to wealth, gender and location," the bishop stated.

He hailed the results of last year's South Sudan's Certificate of Primary Education though few states children sat the exams.

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