By Mary Poni
The Ministry of General Education and Instruction under the auspices of President Salva Kiir has awarded 51 prominent teachers for their outstanding contribution to the Country’s education sector since the liberation struggle.
Hussein Abdelbagi Akol, the Vice President for Service Cluster on behalf of the President welcomed and honored the presence of the prominent teachers who were awarded certificates of recognition and acknowledgement for their tireless effort over the years.
The teachers’ recognition and acknowledgement award ceremony was held yesterday in Juba under the theme “Teachers Inspire and Build Societies”.
Vice President Akol lauded teachers saying they prepare learners to be responsible citizen, it takes full commitments and responsibility.
He acknowledged all teachers who dedicated their minds to the teaching profession in order to build capacity of the generation who are today serving the importance of human resources for the nation building.
“Teachers make us what we are today, for example, doctors, engineers, cabinet ministers and judges among others”, he said, adding that, “The person who proposes such powers and prospering must definitely be a special person with some special qualities.”
In honor of their contribution to nation building, the teachers have been awarded with certificates as an acknowledgement for their public services.
“Teachers deserve our respect and to reflect on the great contribution to our lives, today we are celebrating the services of 51 prominent teachers around the Country for serving diligently, their nationalistic and patriotic duties in teaching generation of students throughout their lifetimes”, he said.
“The recognition of our teachers today (Tuesday) is for us to reflect on education and the future of our country while celebrating and distinguishing some of our all-time teachers we need to reflect on the education system of South Sudan,” Akol underscored.
The Vice President for Service Delivery Cluster stated that for the last two years, he has been working closely with members of his cluster and cabinet ministers to improve the education system.
“I admit that, the teachers are the center of our government educational policy because it is only through tackling the problems of teaching and teachers that we can address as fundamental issue in education”, he noted.
“It is true that we have done a huge progress in education in this country since the comprehensive peace agreement. “In 2005, we were having three thousand learners in our schools, but today, there are almost 2.3 million school children enrolled in our schools.”
According to VP Akol, South Sudan has about six thousand teachers out of which, some of them have no qualifications because the professional ones have left teaching to seek for better job with good pay.
“From July 2021, the government implemented a new salary structure in which teachers’ pay was increased by 140% we believe that by doing this, we can attract some of the teachers back to teaching,” he cited.
He said once they improve the working condition of the teachers, then the government will provide training of teachers.
“For the last two years, I’m proud to say that the teachers in the Country have done a lot as South Sudan is the only country in the region that opened schools during the Covid 19 pandemic”, he expressed, adding that, “we successfully conducted examinations unlike other countries in East Africa”.
Meanwhile the national Minister of General Education and Instructions, Awut Deng Achuil, said it is the first of its kind that teachers are honored in the history of South Sudan.
She acknowledged that all the teachers present at the award ceremony and those absent have done great in shaping the future generation of the Country.
Awut said, the prominent teachers awarded were committed, dedicated and determined to deliver quality education to all South Sudanese children, adding that they will always be remembered by the people of South Sudan as role models in their time.