Majorly, the language of instruction in the globalized world is English. Though other local languages are gaining momentum, due attention has been given to English as a language of transaction and instruction across different regions and countries.
Nonetheless, South Sudan as a young nation adopted English as the official and instructional language. This calls for all learning institutions across the country to take English as the official language of instructions.
However, there is an observation among some south Sudanese graduates who mess up with English both in writing and speaking. Since speaking and writing a language is a skill to be acquired, many graduates seem to have not learned the skills of communication.
Notably, good education starts with the improvement of communication skills such as writing, speaking, listening, and reading. A graduate who is poor at these skills will remain good for nothing guy for the rest of his or her academic and social life.
To be sure, nobody is born with perfect English but it requires individual efforts and commitment to learn and practice it at any cost. The more you learn English better, the more your academic status can be appreciated and admired.
Having mastered an official language of transaction and instruction has a lot of prospects including being hired for a job by an employer. Definitely, changes of being employed by either public or private sector could remain high and prevalent.
From the employment perspective, most of the organizations always prefer and hire those who have fluency in English both in writing and speaking. In an equal footing, many graduates are always complaining that they are not shortlisted or employed by certain organizations whose they submit their applications.
This perhaps may true in the context of the language you address the organization through the applications you submit. You are evaluated on the construction of sentences and the logical arrangement of ideas and skills you want to bring onto the job.
As a teacher who has taught at secondary and tertiary levels, I have observed from the professional and psychological viewpoints, that thousands of South Sudanese graduates are poor in English. Specifically, the majority of the graduates who sat and finished their basic and tertiary education within South Sudan have less knowledge and proficiency in English.
Furthermore, there are some graduates who have been in the East African universities as well as those who went overseas countries for studies and yet, they are suffering from the same academic problem.
In my view, the blame of the academic snobbery neither goes to the parents nor to the students but it directly questions the national educational system. This could be connected to the claimed malpractices of the national examinations at the basic educational level.
Practically, I have observed that there are some graduates who write and speak English like primary school kids and they walk proudly in the community as distinguished scholars. They can even post long critical messages on social platforms mixed up with grammatical errors and typos.
Such graduates are treated well in their respective communities as educated elites because their parents who are illiterate could not figure out the kind of education their sons and daughters have acquired for a sustainable future.
Worst still, when you correct such people, they tend to be on your neck politically and socially all the time and may treat you as an enemy. But in the context of learning, correction is minimal if one wants to learn and live well in the professional community. A learned person gives room for corrections because people learn through mistakes and criticisms.
This is also consistent in the Western and Eastern World especially the advanced countries. However, in South Sudan it is not considered as a weakness but treated as egocentric interference in one’s social, political, and academic life.
As a graduate, one needs to convince his or her readers and followers by using good grammatical terms to convey powerful ideas. When you put good ideas unnecessarily with poor English grammar, it automatically changes the meaning of your message and this may give you the problem unknowingly.
Hence, criticism of your academic credentials may start literally from somewhere within your social and political setups.
My advice to such people is to be good friends to books of English at all times. These grammar books will let you learn the eight (8) parts of speech and four communication skills. This is the only way you will be bailed out from your poor academic outlook. Try as much as possible, to be tolerant with people and the situations, so as to learn the official language better for your own better future.
From the academic outlook, a degree alone is a paper, and thinking that you are a graduate without such skills will make you stand out as an ineffective and less knowledgeable professional. So learning the basics of grammar can add value to your academic and professional lifestyle.
Without learning these parts of English in detail, you will never be an effective speaker and writer of good English in your professional world. Since English is the second language in South Sudan, nobody is the best but try at least to be better in order to fit into the globalized world characterized by professional knowledge and proficiency in a language of business and instructions.
Since South Sudan is full of arrogant and rigid people, I know some people will interpret it in their own thinking instead of taking it as advice to improve their academic writings and communication. Stay blessed and wish you a pleasant weekend!
The Author, Abraham Mabior Rioc, is a teacher by profession who holds dual Masters Degrees in Education from the University of Juba and The University of Hong Kong respectively. He is the author of the forthcoming book entitled: “Scaling Up Education in Emergencies: A Viable Tool for Investing in Human Resource Development and Conflict Mitigation in the Conflict-Prone States. He is electronically reachable at firstname.lastname@example.org
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