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Shameless lawmaker tinkles illiterate MPs to enroll on adult education

By Bida Elly David

A fearless lawmaker at the national legislative assembly (R-TNLA) has challenged less educated members of parliament to enroll for adult education to better improve their intellectual capacity.

Hon. Joyce Echia, who represents Eastern Equatoria State, alluded that the August House, currently accommodates parliamentarians who are incapable of reading, understanding and writing noting.

She made the sentiments during presentation of a scrutinized report on president Kiir’s inaugural speech at parliament concerning policies on institutional reforms.

Hon. Echia commended president Kiir’s speech on educational reforms but reiterated the need for prioritization of adult education to give room for school dropouts particularly parliamentarians.

“Much as the president has stressed on free primary and secondary education especially for girls, I also vividly remember that the president touched something on adult education for all dropouts” she said.

Hon. Echia scorned that, on her average knowledge, some parliamentarians are in the August House due to the fact that the citizens in their constituencies need representatives for their voices.

Showing remorse for the “bitter truth”, Hon. Echia observed that her words might have triggered passive feelings from those touched with consequences of academia aberration.

The female legislator did not however mention any MP she believed was among the illiterate but only appealed to those in the category to take education as a priority, saying age matters less in learning.

“I am not abusing but this is from the experience that we have, that means, we need to encourage adult education for all,” Echia defended her argument.

She emphasized that free education should not only be a priority to regular learners but also to those who halted studies due to different historical reasons especially women.

Hon. Echia insisted that both young and old have got equal rights to free education, adding that both have capability to transform the Country into a better stage.

As South Sudan slowly stabilizes after decades of conflict, the world’s youngest nation continues to battle illiteracy.

South Sudan has the lowest literacy rate in world: 27% of the adult population can read and write.

To combat the problems, authorities formerly launched thousands of adult education classes across the country.

Mary Achan, a 47 who has been illiterate for most of her life, is studying with her 17-year-old daughter.

While most mothers help their children study, Mary’s daughter helps her learn to read and write English.

“My mother has now learned a lot of English words such as greetings. That makes me happy,” the daughter said, adding that she always helped her mom to do her homework when she came home early, before the two embark on mother-and-daughter studies.

Deng Deng Hoc Yai, South Sudan’s former education minister is one of a growing number of citizens who see the current peace as a chance to pursue education, with hopes for a better job in the future.

He said that adult literacy was a top priority to help pull people out of poverty and prevents conflict.

“At the individual level, at the levels in a country, with communities that have a lot of educated people, they will all be working, all be enjoying better health, they will be more peaceful compared to people who are illiterate,” he said.

Meanwhile, in Jonglei state capital Bor, local education official is appealing to adults and school dropouts to consider enrolling for classes with the Alternative Learning Program (ALP) which opens this month.

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