By Mawien Marko,
Feb 08, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —- It seems that ‘foreign teachers’ will play fundamental roles in South Sudan as a result of the increased need for South Sudan children and adults alike to learn the new things in and around the globe. While on the one hand South Sudanese are readily in need of better education but the first thing to be done is to bring peace and later on hiring of some foreign experts from other countries but not in one country like Zimbabwe, on the other hand am also suspicious that our government is openly resenting these same teachers for encroaching on our homeland and its longstanding social and family values. Am talking in reference with an article published by Sudan tribune entitled “South Sudan to hire 20,000 Zimbabwean teachers”.
With regard to this article published by Sudan tribune as a concern citizen of this country I am not convinced by the government to hire foreign Zimbabweans as teachers in this country. I was expecting some few experts to be hired if at all South Sudanese are not capable to deliver high quality education. The government should have hired some few consultants to come and train south Sudan nationals on education sector. As a concern citizen, I ask myself how long the foreign teachers will keep teaching south Sudanese children.
I know South Sudanese desire high quality teachers who can deliver holistic quality education to the pupils and students of this young nation, I know very well that most of the foreign teachers like Ugandans and Kenyans who come illegally to South Sudan to offer better education are paid and treated well. Moreover, most of these foreign teachers don’t have valid documents that qualify them to be teachers. It would have been better for South Sudan to sign memorandum of understanding with the government of Kenya and Uganda to allow them to operate legally. But I sometimes blame South Sudan Immigration Services for granting work visas to non-qualified individuals and faulting South Sudan institutions for hiring substandard teachers who have minimal qualifications, South Sudanese are quick to hold responsible the ‘foreign English teacher’ for any shortcomings that tend to occur as a direct result of his/her inexperience.
South Sudan must start to see that at least part of the blame should be placed on themselves as they are the ones encouragingly inviting the unqualified foreign teachers. That is to say, it is unfair to hire a non-qualified teacher and expect him/her to perform and act professionally especially if both the school and government have opted to stipulate that little professional training and background is needed to become an teacher in south Sudan. Aside from a university degree, only a Certification is needed, though a Certificate in south Sudan secondary examination (SSSE) is preferred. Often times, South Sudan will continue to hire so called foreign teachers with a wide range of majors, many of which are unrelated to education, straight out of university. Therefore, if the teacher is found to be substandard, they turn the tide and blame the foreign teacher instead of taking the blame for not choosing a more suitable candidate in the first place. It is this kind of irony that sometimes qualifies as being grossly preposterous.
What is more, perhaps it is possible to invite only qualified teachers from abroad and still manage to pay them the wages ‘foreign teachers’ in South Sudan are regularly being paid these days, however, public schools, private institutions as well as citizens themselves should learn to accept the idea that qualified teachers should not only come from countries where English is the first official language, but also start hiring from countries where English is at least one of the official languages, like Turkey and the UK for instance. After all, there are plenty of amply qualified teachers there who are more than willing to work for the pay readily on offer. Perhaps, South Sudanese first need to get rid of their bias toward ‘national’ teachers before such a simple solution could be effectively implemented. I therefore, argue our government and our civil population to also belief that our national teachers can deliver best quality education once they are well equipped with knowledge. I am definitely in favor of creating more opportunities for local teachers rather than going for foreign teachers who needed to be paid in dollars. I have always felt that having a local person in the lower grades (1, 2, and 3) is very important more specially when our government raises his or her wages in order to be able to meet the current standard of leaving. As for foreign teachers…South Sudan government should really only accept some few qualified teachers from other countries in my opinion. Thanks to those of you who taken their time to read this article, may God bless you.
Mawien marko is a student at Bugema University of Uganda and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org..
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