The only undisarmed weapon is education

Among weapons stands an intangible weapon which is never disarmed though disarmament is carried out worldwide. Education is the most powerful weapon to change the world, said Nelson Mandela. Because education, as a weapon like other weapons, is never disarmed, I see no reason why people are still in possession of disarmed weapons.

Countries where illiteracy rates are low have fewer barracks than those where illiteracy rates are high because illiteracy drives people to army whereas literacy drives people to schools. Education has no identity, it is so diverse that it accommodates the rich and the poor, the able and the disable, the young and the old. Education shelters all lives and lights people’s torches to see tomorrow. There is more wisdom in schools than in barracks because pens can sign peace, but guns can declare war. Developed are countries that have put down their guns and grabbed pens, developing are countries in the middle of laying down guns and grabbing pens, meanwhile underdeveloped are countries such as South Sudan that have families who still view education at the traditional angle, I mean who still say education is not for our ancestors.

Among all the solutions that South Sudan needs to fully settle, strengthened education remains the overriding solution to rid South Sudan of old scales that overwhelm her to open a new chapter of progress. When South Sudan became independent, the first literal move to have been done was to transform the SPLA into an army that could wear a blue helmet as peace-keeping forces in warring countries. Transforming SPLA begins with declaring education mandatory for soldiers who had joined uneducated and furtherance of studies by soldiers who had joined after attaining certain levels of education so that soldiers know their own roles and roles of the citizens they defend. Did that happen? It didn’t happen.

Education is taken for granted, and I know the reason why it taken for granted. Education is taken for granted because it is a weapon that does not kill one’s enemies, it is a weapon that one can’t carry when going for revenge, it is a weapon that can’t be used by cattle raiders and road ambushers. I know only one and a half generations in South Sudan are educated but their weighing scale drops on the side of half because the first generation got informal education which is helpless currently. Although illiteracy rate is dropping in South Sudan, it is not dropping at a speed which propels South Sudan to catch up other countries.

This is evidenced by the fact that the number of schools and universities is exceeded by the number of churches and Kujur (magic) houses. South Sudan cheats herself that she will catch up other countries with quality education by malpractices as a means to enroll a reasonable number of students in schools and universities for illiteracy rate to drop drastically. By allowing malpractices, then South Sudan is arming “educands” with a more dangerous weapon than snipers, AK 47s, PKMs, among others, because “educands” will pass through education instead of education passing through them.

To arm South Sudan with education, schools should be built, and not barracks, school uniforms should be varied, and not army uniforms, teachers should be motivated more often and, not commanders, forgiveness should be taught and not revenge, and finally, the future should be preached and, not the past.

The author is a medical student, University of Juba. He can be reached at malengaroldit@gmail.com or +211922332811.

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