Hon. Awut Deng Achuil, once good female minister is likely to be failed by national examinations council (NEC)

Hon. Awut Deng AcuilHon. Awut Deng Acuil

Pesuech Arok Deng

Honourable Awut Deng Achuil is the long-time female Minister in South Sudan since Independence. She was the first female Minister to head the Foreign Affairs Ministry. Despite numerous challenges, Awut tried her best to housed South Sudan embassies operating in tents into AC buildings. She managed too to lobby for their salaries after being neglected by Garang Mabiordit for almost a year

After the Revitalized Agreement, Hon. Awut was appointed as Minister of Education and Instructions in the Unity Government, a position she is likely to be failed by National Examinations Council (NEC), the body under the Ministry of Education whose functions are to set, invigilate/monitor, mark and file the results of National Examinations both PLE and SSSCE. For the last five years, this body failed one of the charismatic and eloquent politician of this country Hon. Deng Deng Hoc and Awut is likely to fall into the same trap if not the worst.

This body (NEC) failed their mandate of protecting the credibility of National Examinations leaving it to wander in the market almost one month before the official day of sitting. NEC is made up of Khartoumers who believes in ” bakara le nija” as a mantra during Omar Bashir’s days. Many of them don’t look at this yearly practice as a shame to their organization and every minister that oversees the Examinations always fall as a victim of NEC failure.

In March 2020, schools across the country were closed due to Corona virus and later Hon. Awut announced the opening of candidate’s classes (P8 & S4) in October without proper restrictions. This has created unnecessary self promotion of pupils/students from P6,7 to P8 and S3 to S4 with hope that they will pass since National Examinations are inform of homework. In Juba currently, every student is a candidate

The mess started in 2016 when the PLE was taken from States’ responsibility to be controlled by National Ministry as a way of promoting Nationalism through a unified national Examinations without proper procedures put in place. This had created a competition among the 32 States where Education officials were involved in Examinations malpractice in order to obtain position one in the country. My people from Yirol mockingly called this era as “abor Maluk Wut” in remembrance of state minister of Education whose period was marred with malpractices leading to highest number of students who passed highly with Panekaar secondary school topped the Nation in malpractices during 2018/2019 National Examinations.

Examinations malpractices has become a terror to the ailing educational system of the country and needs all the stake holders to take punitive measures in order to curb this menace. The widespread reports of students, teachers and parent’s involvement in Examinations malpractices are not only shameful but worrisome. In many schools, teachers teaching in the same schools were seen invigilating and giving answers to their students in the guise of promoting the name of school at the national level through best results after dodging classes due to poor pay. With this situation where teachers go for months without salaries, one really wonders how do many candidates score 100% in Physics and Mathematics.

Examinations remain the best tool for empirical assessment and evaluation of learners after a period of attending classes/lessons. Hence, any practice that undermines Examinations poses a threat to the validity and reliability of examinations results and certification.

The highest percentages students obtained always lead them to be admitted to study courses they are not fit to pursue their career causing good number of dropouts/poor results in the Universities. The performances of our students who secured scholarships in foreign countries are shocking as well with some deported back due to poor results.

WHAT SHOULD BE DONE?

It will be so weird to criticize without putting proper suggestions to mitigate this shame.

  1. Hon. Awut should dissolve the current NEC members who are used to leaking out National Examinations and replace them with new people with integrity. Without doing that, she will be supervising homework inform of National Examinations in few weeks/years to come.
  2. The Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) should be returned to States just like the way it was since Independence. Keeping it in this disorganized NEC as a means of promoting National Unity through a unified Examinations is a hoax. It will be unified later after reforms are affected.

The States PLE was more credible than the National PLE.

  1. Those involved in cheating should be punished severely and schools practicing this shame must be barred from the rights of having a center. The private schools are worst in this practice. Some private schools want their candidates to secure highest marks just to attract students from different schools the following year. Their wealth depends on the big number of students.

The writer served as an Examiner in Lakes State (2010_2012) and Central Equatoria ( 2015), taught candidates class (P8) for ten years before retiring in Hai Thoura as Tea sipper. Reachable through dengfrancis111@gmail.com/0917317319

Share the news