A new Phenomenon in Bor and Dinka Led schools: The KING and QUEEN celebrations.
I’ve watched with keen observation the recent farewell celebrations in Juba city and other towns in South Sudan. The practice (celebration) has no academic purpose or benefits, yet the parents and the Ministry of General Education and Instructions are silent, with no condemnation coming from them.
The Ministry and the parents should have jointly condemned the so-called farewell parties for Senior Four students which turned out to be a wedding-like celebration where a boy/man is matched with a girl/woman walking in aisle while holding their arms firmly in a wedding style match.
This is not how Senior Four farewell parties are organized elsewhere. Many of us have studied and passed along the same path. However, we have not found such ridiculous madness initiated by schools and endorsed by parents. In a normal circumstance, schools do organize farewell parties when exams are nearing to brief students to prepare adequately for exams without fear or panic. The invitees always include;
- Parents to say their final words to their sons or daughters
- It is time for teachers to reassure students that the exams will look like the exams they have been doing.
- Academicians are distinguished by giving career guidance for future careers.
- For religious leaders to pray for the good health and wisdom of students
The blame for this phenomenon is apportioned as follows:
A) School Administration
We, the parents or guardians, entrust the teachers and school administration with not only the welfare and teaching of our children, but we also entrust them with the responsibility of instilling values, morals, and good character.
The Teachers as custodians and caretakers of students while in schools should have advised students and parents/guardians that such parties are not allowed in school compound. However, when schools allow a farewell party in style of a wedding with students matching in aisle as married couples, then it portrays a different picture.
B) Parents or Guardians
Parents or guardians have the responsibility to check on their children in schools to see and observe what they are going through.
Because of this reason, parents or guardians have open tickets to visit school to have conversation with teachers and other school staff about their children on issues pertaining to academic and performance of their children in school. However, when parents or guardians relinquish this responsibility, then the result is, they see their daughters or sons holding a man or a woman who has not been introduced to the parents that day.
On the other hand, instead of uniforms, parents or guardians voluntarily crown their daughters with jewelry, beads, or earrings in order to match in a wedding style motion.
The main focus of any serious student is to read, read, read and read so that he/she can celebrate his/her results when they are announced by the Ministry. At this critical moment, a student needs no celebration, but guidance to excel in his or her exams because he or she has nothing tangible to celebrate. I wonder whether the so-called “King” and “Queen” will be “King” and “Queen” of that class when the results trickle in.
Imperatively, I would like to acknowledge the great work of those who are in the teaching profession that your resilience and perseverance in this difficult time is noticeable. But we need our children under your care to be crowned with values, morals, and good character, not with jewelry, earrings, suits, etc.
I say this without fear or contradiction that the farewell parties led by the King and Queen are so common in Bor Dinka-led schools, and as a member of this community, I request that we review these curricula and avoid these baseless celebrations that do not cultivate any academic identity in our children.
Author: Bol G. Diing
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