The quest for liberation struggle against marginalisation and economic exploitation was an exodus which obligated each and every southerner to volunteer or be conscripted fundamentally to address political, civil, social, economical, military, historical and spiritual transformation and justice in old Sudan owing to an off and on kakistocratic and stratocractic regimes in Khartoum.
Notwithstanding; the ordeal journey along liberation path was so full of thorns and thistles not beans or Asida, but the heroines and heroes of SPLM/A from its infancy to its midst, did fight tooth and nail with argentocratic elites in khartoum for 22 years long running civil war which was the longest and dirtiest war ever fought in Africa valuing freedom, equality and justice.
The objective was as transparent as glass only to free people of marginalised Sudanese from all forms of state of captivity, forced slavery, forced servitude, forced disappearance, forced religion, forced sexuality, economic exploitation or forced poverty, and brutally and injudiciously extrajudicial killings if I am wrong go and witness the skulls and skeletons around human butchery white house inside Juba west which was so notoriously known as (Baid al Abieth).
So I am inspired to write this article in conjunction with a quote of Pan-Africanist, and great iconic hero of Sudan in general or south Sudan in particular, Dr. John Garang De-Mabior who said: “I and those who joined me in the bush and fought for more than twenty years, have brought to you CPA in a golden plate. Our mission is accomplished. It is now your turn, especially those who did not have a chance to experience bush life. When time comes to vote at referendum, it is your golden choice to determine your fate. Would you like to vote to be second class citizens in your own country? It is absolutely your choice”.
The above quotation was a direct speech made by the late and whose theme has a number of multiple definitions if wisdom is more important to a man than beauty and wealth in this yet to be born democratic nation. Dr. John Garang‘s call has been not only deciphered but proved right by southerners at the dawn of 9th January 2011 with their tokens and decided to be the first class citizens in their own country and now the citizens’ mission is accomplished.Who else but ROSS?
Now the good citizens of south Sudan have brought to south Sudan nations the indisputable independence in a copper bottomed drum and it is the ROSS to determine her fate. Should ROSS choose to be the second class state in the world it is absolutely her choices and obligations.
By seeing the wood through the trees, the Republic of south Sudan to overcome its birth labour and afterbirth pains circumstances, is to think wisely enough to reward southerners for their unwavering contributions in the last January plebiscite with a free education at all levels of educational sectors so as to do away with illiteracy which was caused by the war and its grinding poverty and which is the cause of fuelling insecurity in this youngest state.
The bullets that were shot on 9th January were shot simultaneously and it was a participatory war that involved all constitutionally legal binding southerners irrespective of colours, sex, religion and political affiliations. It was a war which had been never ever fought though each eligible voter was charged to shoot only one bullet but in point blank basis the war is won objectively and thus the’ mission of southern populace is accomplished in copper bottomed drum.
Why is free education paramount of importance?
Benefits of Free Education
Knowledge is power, power to live a decent life, Power to earn a decent income, Power that brings you respect and dignity. When knowledge can bestow the power for so many things, why should it be restricted to a few who have the advantage of wealth? Knowledge needs to be free for all those who deserve it, and what a person deserves should be decided by an individual‘s capability and intelligence and not by wealth.
The best and simplest way to disseminate knowledge to all those who deserve it, is through free education. Making education free from primary up to undergraduate levels would benefit our society though Postgraduate and other further studies to be at the owner‘s capacity.
Remedy to Society’s ills
Our society is more divided by meager wealth Scramble than by any other criteria as a result of a timeless conflict in the region. Just after the cock‘s crow in 2005 there is the unbelievably rich few, the very rich, the middle income group, the poor, and those in utter poverty. And amidst all this are impoverishment, unemployment, and destitution. How can anyone think of spending money on education, when they do not have money for food and shelter? However, education is the remedy for all these ills that plague our society. Education is the only means that can open up the doors that lead to employment, and through it food, shelter and better quality of life. Therefore, providing free education to the deserving ensures that at least the future generation can step through these doors to a better living.
Although; scholarships are intended for the disadvantaged few, the disadvantaged are not just few. Scholarships help only a handful, for others providing free education would come as a great relief.
Focus on learning:
Providing free education would enable students to concentrate on learning and gaining more through the education, instead of struggling with the payment of tuition fees and meeting other expenses. When the focus shifts to learning it leads to empowerment of the youth to work towards an increasingly intellectual society.
Improved quality of life:
Free education would lead to more educated people. More educated people in the society leads to overall improvement in the quality of life in the society. Through better employment and elimination of the struggle for basic needs, people would concentrate on the higher aspects of life, such as improving administration and management of issues that impact the society in general. Therefore free education would have a very positive impact on the overall quality and thinking in the society.
More educated people would mean better governance from the grassroots to the national level. Educated people would make better choices in electing their representatives and are better equipped to question corruption and misuse of power. Therefore, education is not only the remedy for the ills of unequal wealth, but also the remedy for the ills that plague our administration and governments. By making education free, we prod our society towards the path of better governance.
Intelligence and talent are not the forte of the wealthy alone. There is lot of untapped and undiscovered talent and intelligence lying covered under impoverishment and destitution. Free education opens the doors of opportunities to these talented people. Through free education, we can ensure that the talented and intelligent can gain the assurance of a better tomorrow through maximizing their academic potentials.
Free education would be beneficial to those who deserve it, as well as, to the society as a whole. Where everybody is talking about equal and better opportunities, the prospects of a better future should not be lost due to lack of equal opportunities for education.
All in all, free education will find its fertile ground support by the majority of common people who were mostly disadvantaged by war especially orphans, wounded heroes, war veterans and street families.
We citizens concerned do hereby request the only expected Republic of South Sudan to distinguish itself from outgoing GOSS with a different clockwork and benevolent egalitarianism.
In a nutshell, I strongly believe that Education is master key and knowledge is power and therefore the Republic of South Sudan should make free education a must so that we catch up the rest of developing countries in the world if not in Africa.
The Author is a student of International Relations and Diplomacy at the Bridge University Juba and he can be reached at [email protected]