Attending my duty

Attending my duty

Monday, 9 May 2011

Why does GoSS sponsor students abroad and leave local universities unprepared?

By Ariik-Dut Atekdit

It has been a long silence since last year that all southern Sudan universities closed down because of referendum. During those days everybody was filled with the referendum spirit of patriotism and an interest to vote for separation. So with no doubt all the students in southern universities accept to go for referendum and come for education maybe after separation results. Of course South Sudan is registered with five national universities of Juba, Upper Nile, Bahr el Ghazal, Rumbek and John Garang University of science and technology.

These universities have not been operational since the time of referendum for reasons best known to Government of South Sudan (GoSS) ministry of Higher education. The five institutions in the new nation are the only existing government departments for human knowledge expansion in higher education and of course they have been on deferment for about five or more months since last year. The GoSS ministry responsible for the universities has been from time to time pushing the regional universities calendars from unknown date to other unpredictable dates ahead of nowhere causing a lot of irregularities. This of course has confused a number of students across the newly born nation as all but none is kept in dilemma. So what is the problem here? We voted for our new nation and we better continue with our education or we shall not be productive.

Rumors say that the ministry of higher education is caught unprepared to welcome faculties with students which used to operate in the north with what they term to be lack of accommodations. However, I can not really agree with that cheap reason put forward by the concerned bodies if it is alleged that way. Repatriating south Sudanese universities from the north to their original places was a decision of long time ago since the formation of GoSS; tongues in Juba have never stopped speaking on this fact. And so everybody knew very well that South Sudan universities would be transferred to their original places in the South even though the country would remain united. This is a simple fact I want to underline. So whether caught unprepared or not everybody knew about it.

I blame GoSS for not constructing any university buildings until now. Building the universities’ infrastructures whether being in Juba, Wau, Malakal or elsewhere would be better if it was done earlier. But I just wonder why our leaders always keep things late until the darkest hours.

The ministry itself is to be blamed of not making possible measures during these five months to build some infrastructures to accommodate the repatriated faculties and students. I would like our leaders to sit down and draw plans and straighten framework that will help these talented students in their quest for education. If it is not done this way, then there is no reason of saying that people want to eliminate illiteracy. It will be purely a support to unwanted illiteracy in the region. Suspending five universities of hundreds of thousands students will not be a wise idea at all.

Whatsoever the case maybe; my question remains: Why does GoSS sponsor students abroad and leave local universities unprepared? This question desires an answer. It is not fair that other hundreds of thousands of students are cheerfully pursuing their various professions in the neighbouring countries under GoSS sponsorship while it is difficult for the same GoSS to build lecture halls or hire lecturers to teach in the South. If the Government in Juba wants to suspend our studies in the south then we want the GoSS abroad-sponsored-students to hold on until the government is ready to build our universities or sponsor all of us if that would be better. I think it is much better and cheaper to widen the standard of our local universities and their infrastructures instead of depending on foreign learning for ages that does not work. It is just a waste of large amount of national resources. It is not wise at all for a country like South Sudan to depend on the neighbouring countries for everything like to say food, other goods including education.

Since January I have not seen any new building being raised in Upper Nile University Malakal campus and yet the ministry says they are working to set up infrastructures for the southern universities; if this situation is the same every where subsequently the future of our students and their universities is at its critical point.

We have seen that children of GoSS officials are not studying in South Sudan. Their children are sent to abroad to search for better education leaving us here in this unsolved situation with numbering conditions. We have so far learnt that our government officials don’t want to improve better education in the south because GoSS sponsor their children abroad. This is not patriotism at all and we need to evaluate our love for the nation more than sticking on the continuous selfishness that has erased ideas of unity and development in our big people’s brains.

Once again it’s not time for us to waste money by offering scholarship in foreign countries. The money that is supposed to be used for the aforementioned foreign scholarship should be used for expanding, renovating and constructing South Sudan universities, in order to accommodate the huge influx of returnee students from North Sudan.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Love is quiet and tender

By Ariik-Dut Atekdit
With the experience we have gone through, love can fit to be defined with words like quietness, softness and tenderness. Words that have special good actions towards people we are sharing life. Love is a light that allows people to see things that are not seen by others.

While romantic love in special way is a deep emotional, sexual and spiritual recognition and regard for the value of another person and relationship. Romantic love can generate many powerful feelings. It can provide a profound ecstasy, and a deep suffering when frustrated. To some people, romantic love is irrational. Romantic love can seem like an emotional storm.

In our last valentine celebrations many young people were seen moving gently on our poor roads and the small towns we have in South Sudan. You could see that their faces showed peace and they showed handling and care. And almost everybody felt high moving together hand in hand with a boyfriend/girlfriend.

To some people who stayed far away from their beloved ones, they talked over phones on long period subscriptions discussing love and their future. It is observed that it is rather easy to explain how much you love some one than showing it in action. With love descriptions we feel: Someone we love enters the room. Our eyes and heart light up. We look at this person. We feel a growing feeling of joy within us. We reach out and touch their hand. We feel happy and fulfilled.
I believe we all have a profound need to find things in the world we care about and feel inspired by.

Life is worthwhile - at any age - when we find something worth pursuing. In loving you, I see in you a part of me that is also you... I also see in you something that is really me. And there is you, a person of many qualities-- a person who is a mystery-- a person I am drawn to.

All life - by its very nature - entails a possibility of defeat. Because of this, we find pleasure and reassurance in the expression of life. Sharing our life and participating in life is reassuring that life is possible. Romantic love is an intense sharing and reassurance that life is possible
Sometimes lovers try to describe person’s body to prove that he/she love them so much. But does love remains strong in place even after marriage? My married and experienced colleague told me that most promises made by lovers when young never come true when they are married. But the questions remain, why? Where does love go to after marriage?
Before going further, I should talk about the institution of marriage. One kind of marriage is the utilitarian marriage. In this type of marriage there is an absence of mutual involvement or passion. This type of marriage is usually held together by social, financial or family considerations. In a utilitarian marriage the relationship is made tolerable by long separations, community activities and usually infidelity.

The other kind of a marriage is the intrinsic marriage. In this type of marriage there is passionate emotional and sexual involvement. The experience of life is shared. The relationship is considered more fulfilling and interesting than any social activity. In this relationship there is a tendency to avoid activities resulting in separations.

Marriage itself does not create or sustain romantic love. To love someone, and for that love to endure, requires the ability to see that person with clarity. For example, we have all seen how some people will romanticize or glamorize their partners.

Although you enjoyed last valentine day with your girl/boyfriend you still have a lot to do. Fascination, attraction, or passion may be born "at first sight". But love requires curiosity, patience, acceptance and seeing people for who they truly are. This usually takes time.

Romantic love is based on shared sight and is shaped by happiness. Immature love is based on shared blindness, and is merely a fortress against pain. We better look for love which is quiet and tender.

My Stolen Love on forced marriage

By Ariik-Dut Atekdit

I thought I was close to being a perfect boyfriend. I was charming, funny, very generous, expressed feelings of love to her... Then recently because of my absence she decided to leave me - I was too nice. But only just I heard a different story that my girlfriend is married by another man. And now I must begin to hate the culture that forces girls to get married to men they really don’t love. I have several times heard my colleagues or age mates screaming just because their beloved ones have been forced to own different men because of big dowry they do pay to parents. I thought I would not come across such a story but it was until recently that it has been inevitable.

Love for girls these days is only considered unless you stay near them but if you happened to go far away from them then they must be taken over by other men. It’s truly confusing and this generation is going crazy with love affairs. I really see no success in it unless something is done. I didn’t know that this thing would happen. But because I have announced to follow my studies for a better future she defects my love. She got married while I am still pursuing my education. She knew about my school and she pledged to wait for me under any circumstances but things came out of her control. She couldn’t make it because a man paid a lot of cows and abducted her without any agreement.

I was left with nothing but memories. I could recall greetings from her soft and peaceful hands, her voice which sounded sweet, and her eyes which were so bright and straight although she couldn’t look direct into my eyes. She could turn down her face with what I shall describe as a smiling “glance”. We remained quiet, calm and mandated only to our love affairs.

I was attracted to her appearance and structure and my eyes would love only to look at her. The way she expressed herself when talking with me indicated that the girl was responsible and respectful I could suggest. When she looked into my eyes, she could pronounce “I luv u darling”. And for these cause I declared with her factual acceptance that she would be the mother of my kids. However, with this love which easily bases on materials no girl will be counted for one person.

We were almost to forget our names because we used to call each other “darling” or “sweet heart” as if our parents did not give us any names. I am sure our love would grow bigger and huge if her parents and that wrong man allowed her for me. We always shook hands in smiles and cheers; no hatred but love in surroundings. I thought that my love is big for her and she had enough only for me. I can’t blame her but the culture that imposes marriage on girls to marry men they don’t like. I am in actual fact sorry to denounce that Dinka culture which doesn’t give some more rights to girls but only looks into wealth first. Marriages should base on the mutual love of two couples. I think girls should be given rights to choose or reject men.

It may be easy to look around our world today and see the appearance of chaos, difficulty and strife. We better take examples from olden stories, divorce has become now an everyday event just because the couples don’t marry themselves base on true love but just on wealth and family backgrounds. Where will others marry? Yet, when we come from an open heart, we can also see our opportunity to love all things into balance, joy, harmony and peace. This planet does not need more visions of desperation, fear, doubt and hate - it requires an abundance of love, especially unconditional love, to heal and restore the beauty contained in every moment. This becomes the easier path once we take the first step and begin to share our love.

When we bring unconditional love back into our personal, professional, community and family lives, we begin the journey of restoring wholeness and happiness to our planetary adventure. Of course it takes determined effort on our part as the old ways of being are quick to return in our mind. However, this effort to love is rewarded with a new perspective on everything and all life benefits as a result.

In a forced marriage you are coerced into marrying someone against your will. You may be physically threatened or emotionally blackmailed to do so. It is an abuse of human rights and cannot be justified on any religious or cultural basis. It’s not the same as an arranged marriage where you have a choice as to whether to accept the arrangement or not. The tradition of arranged marriages has operated successfully within many communities and countries for a very long time, this should be adopted by all otherwise girls are married to wrong husbands and vice versa.

When I felt sorry of what had happened to me and my girlfriend, somebody advised me that I would get another girl maybe better than the lost one. But who knows? I only liked to see the movements of her two lips when talking. Because as she opened her lips up and down while pronouncing her sweet words to me. Her white bright teeth would satisfactorily appear charmingly giving me no more time to stare at them but unless she offered her diplomatic smile. Of course between her two lips are those well-planted and structured bright teeth of my deep heart interest and desire. And to tell you the truth I had no eyes to admire other girls by then. To me she was appearing like just an angel of life. Her dress of course appeared different and special. Her eyes too, were so welcoming and I really loved that. The hope that I only had was to plan to make her the mum and I the dad to our dear future children. Her mouth was so nice, her eyes so white and encouraging. I felt from inside my chest that she was really well-structured by the creator.

I suggest girls should not be forced to marry those they don’t like neither will men be allowed to pay more cows to buy love from the bride’s parents. South Sudan must find a law for that. The parents of girls should consider the right and choice of their daughters as they wait for us to complete our studies and come to marry their girls. As I finish this article I must think and try to find another girl who my heart may desire. It is a homework I must do but I feel so disturbed for the stolen love.