Professor puts Education Ministry on spotlight over syllabus errors

By Mary Poni

Renowned University Professor, Taban Lo-Lyiong has bitterly blamed the Ministry of General Education over spotted series of errors and technical mistakes in the newly unified South Sudan’s General Education curriculum for primary eight students.

In an exclusive interview with No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper, Professor Lo-lyiong said that the Ministry of General Education has never consulted local experts during the period of developing the new syllabus nor were they given chance to add their input.

“The ministry of education, practically general education sometimes gets experts from outside who don’t know anything about the lay of the curriculums for example when you get an expert from Kenya especially when they are doing mathematical.” Prof. Lo-Lyiong said.

He further lamented that home-made experts and intellectuals are always left out in critical issues that concern the future wellbeing of the country and people, such as syllabus appraisal.

“Sometimes some of us are left out and it look as if nobody thinks that the intellectuals know anything.” He stressed.

“For example, young students knowing who to nominate for an award instead of the adults identifying, where are the big people? He asked saying that “if the adults are silent, then their silence can be taken for ignorance”.

Professor Lo-Lyiong continued that it means that if the experts are not there in the ministry, then they are not here in the country.

“They got in there at the time when we were not yet developed and they are still there as experts without improving the whole situation” he said “as long as you get them there, they are the one to decide on most of the things in the education system”.

“We are left out whereas, what we needed in this country as far as it is a concern, in many countries when independence come and as a nation, there is committee which says what do the national leaders want the development of the nation to look like?” he narrated.

“The target, growth and journey forward as a nation which should have been worked on, though they tried starting it somewhere in Western Equatoria of a program created for a way of going forward, Lastly it looks as if all that effort has been forgotten after we became a nation.” Lo-Lyiong stressed.

He said the country has never reviewed the curriculums as people have got programs built by the Christians during the colonialism and the Arabs added some of their confusions in to it yet they have never said now as South Sudanese, “What do the nation want?” He questioned.

Prof. lo-Lyiong said the government should at least call for a national program one day and put together all the people’s matters to create competent experts within the nation and it also mean that people would put in to focus of going through what the experts so far have created and where their false are.

“I wish one time the government or the next government would think of working out is what the nationals believe and plans for going forward and how it would be” he said.

“We have never called the religious leaders to say what do you want the nation to be including the Muslims but then, must people do believe in traditional faith because we use to think that all the things are national and traditional and as long as it’s not Christian neither Muslim, then it must be satanic” he noted.

Last month, three experts at the department of mathematics, School of Education at University of Juba, said they embarked on research in July 2022, after getting complaints from students about serious textbook errors.

They said they have spotted series of errors and technical mistakes in the newly unified South Sudan’s General Education curriculum for primary eight students.

According to them, page 65 of primary 8 mathematics textbook contains at least eight mathematic content errors especially algebra in unit 4.

Mr. Helicopter Mark Bulbul, William Deng Tap and Biar Simon Ajang said the errors should be blamed on subject matter expertise and ministry of General Education.

They recommended that the new curriculum be revised and errors erased to meet global top-notch standards syllabuses.

The trio math’s specialists urged the national government to avail funds to allow national experts to thoroughly review all textbooks and amend the mistakes.

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