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[Yei, South Sudan, TCT] Yei Teachers Training College (YTTC) graduated 97 teachers and 27 brass band members on Friday.
Speaking in the graduation ceremony, the Central Equatoria State Minister of Education, Mr. Clement Marring Samuel, urged the teachers to go and translate the skills and knowledge you gained into actions for better change of the nation, despite the challenges of doing so.
“We are sending you to the field, and the field has got a lot of challenges. And these challenges, if you don’t have the love of your nation and if you don’t love the work of a teacher, you will never overcome”, said Clement.
The Minister acknowledged that there is a need to readjust the salaries structure of grade 14 and 12 of teachers so that the low pay complaint by teachers is addressed.
“We have to readjust by doing an overhaul of the system to address the issue of salaries. And then from there we can see this issue of low pay how to be addressed. We need to lobby and concentrate on that”, he said.
Addressing the crowd, the principal of the college Mr. Kepo James, acknowledged the role that the partners and national Ministry of Education plays in providing grants for training provision for the teachers in the two year course.
Kepo urged the graduates to apply their knowledge and skills to the improvement of the quality education.
“Go out there to join hands in unlocking the potential of our people. You need to give no room for ignorance, which is a big disease in our society today”, he said .
As he continued calling for collective support for education, Kepo said that “education transcends ethnicity, division, narrowness and inwardness”.
He appealed to the government to continue giving its support to the college to train more teachers for the betterment of education and development in the nation.
“We are training teachers for the government and we need to be supported by the government”, he said.
The Teachers, including 47 females and 50 males, were drawn from the ten states of south Sudan. The college is growing every year, hosting more than 300 students including in-service and pre-serves, said Kepo.
This year, the college has 242 students in pre-service with Central Equatoria State having 141, Western Equatoria State with 33, Warap state 25, Eastern Equatoria State 7, Jongeli state 5, Lakes state 5, Northern Bahr El Gazhal State 4 and 2 from Western Bahr el Gazhal state.
States like Unity and Upper Nile were not represented due to the ongoing challenges of political violence. The college also has 11 students from Sudan and 8 from Uganda. The college in the year 2012 beat the colleges in Uganda in performance.
Kepo said that despite heavy challenges of not having enough dormitories, the school should be supported to increase the number of teachers in training and number of students every year.
“This is our time to make a collective effort on education”, he said.
Teacher Tereka Joyce, a recent graduate, spoke to TCT. She described her completion of the course “as great change to my life and to the life of the nation”. Tereka voiced her encouragement to ladies to take an in depth participation.
She continue saying, “I’m going to apply these skills that I have gained to change my life and the nation. There is nothing that ladies can’t do”, Tereka said.
Sometimes teaching is viewed as a profession of poor people, but Tereka disagreed, saying,
“People are taking it as profession of poor people, but that’s not the meaning. It means teachers are the great people in the world”, she said.
Tereka requested more opportunities of on job training to be offered so that South Sudan can eradicate illiteracy in the nation.
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