UGANDA TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS GIVE HOPE TO SOUTH SUDANESE REFUGEES SEEKING HIGHER EDUCATION

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South Sudanese grandaunts at EAIMS

“I am happy because my parents supported me. With this qualification, I can work anywhere in East Africa. I want to try to rebuild what our people back home in South Sudan lost during the war”

“You should have the fear of God at heart. You should sit down at a round table and resolve the conflict among you peacefully. We want South Sudan to develop like other states but we cannot develop in war situations”

GULU-UGANDA: Mr. John Kuch Garang, a man in his late twenties, is a South Sudanese refugee who lives in Adjumani Refugee Camp which is located in North-western Uganda.

He is part of the statistics of over 1.5 million South Sudanese who fled their country in 2013 following a new war which broke out between the President Salva Kir and his former Vice-president Dr. Riek Machar. Of this, about 85% (percent) are women and children.

Mr. Kuch Garang has been a student pursuing a two-year Diploma in Accounting & Financial Management from the Elego (border post) Learning Center which is located at the border with South Sudan.

This learning center was established by the Gulu based East African Institute of Management Science (EAIMS) to assist South Sudanese students get opportunity of Higher education since the war in their country disrupted learning.

EAIMS has also established another learning center in Bwuyale Township purposely to assist South Sudanese Refugees living in Kiryadongo district in Uganda get tertiary education.

“With this education, I want to empower our people at the grassroots to sustain their own lives instead of relying on politicians who have brought us problems through their senseless war”, says Kuch Garang.

He says he knows very little about what goes on inside South Sudan and is ready to work anywhere within East Africa.

“I am happy because my parents supported me. With this qualification, I can work anywhere in East Africa. I want to try to rebuild what our people back home in South Sudan lost during the war”. He says.

Another South Sudanese national, Mr. Samuel Khot Boldit, who came to the graduation ceremony of Kuch Garang as a parent says the war in South Sudan is a ‘political war’ which had not been planned at all. He works as a Refugee Welfare Committee member of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), an international NGO working with refugees in Nyamanzi Refugee Camp in Adjumani district.

“You should have the fear of God at heart. You should sit down at a round table and resolve the conflict among you peacefully. We want South Sudan to develop like other states and we cannot develop in war situations”, Khot Boldit tells the warring parties in South Sudan.

He appreciated the worm and good neighborly behavior of Uganda which is currently hosting about 1.5 million refugees from South Sudan. Twenty-three South Sudanese are studying at the Institute for Diploma and Certificates in various disciplines of studies, four of whom graduated.

Speaking as one of the guests at the graduation ceremony on Thursday March 29, 2018, Mr. Alfred Kakembo, from the ministry of Education says Central Uganda still take the lion’s share of the number of Tertiary Education in the country; taking 50% (percent) of the total number. Western Uganda takes 25% (percent), Eastern takes 17% (Percent) while the North is trailing with 8% (percent).

“I know the challenge you went through-because you had prolonged war here in the north. Many parents have not changed from buying education expensively from Kampala to the institutions in the north. There is no reason as to why people should be extravagant in buying education in central Uganda”, says Kakembo.

According to the director of EAIMS, Mr. Kyanira A. Apuli, his institute is tipped to be one of the degree awarding institutes in Northern Uganda.

The Chief Guest, Mr. Robert Odok Oheng, cautioned the grandaunts to beware of HIV/AIDS, work hard to earn money, aim higher qualifications, produce food for own consumption and sale and try to start a business and employ others.

“The most expensive commodity in the world is ignorance. Though education is expensive, it is worth it. Wisdom comes out of accumulated knowledge and achievements. Studies don’t end”, he asserts.

 

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