South Sudan’s Ministry of General Education Faces Backlash for Promoting Biased Representation in Exercise Book
The Ministry of General Education and Instructions has recently allowed the use of a particular exercise book in schools across the country, regardless of concerns about its impact on patriotism, nationalism, and potential mental or physical colonization.
The recent controversy around the book is based on its promotion of white skin and a preference for white or Arab players over black players through its use of images.
Concerns raised by some are centered around the psychological effects of such visual representation on young students, as carrying images of people that do not match their skin color may lead to internalized racism and self-hate. This creates a sense of inferiority and seriously threatens young individuals’ mental and emotional growth.
Several individuals and groups have called on the Ministry of General Education and Instructions to either ban the use of the book or replace the players with images that represent the black skin and diverse cultures of the country.
The current situation, which involves images that promote white skin and an unrealistic representation of diversity, may be a step back for the country’s efforts to become an inclusive and diverse society.
The controversy highlights the importance of responsible representation in educational materials, especially for a country that has experienced colonization.
The Ministry of General Education and Instructions has yet to respond to the calls for a ban or alteration of the exercise book. Still, the current situation poses a significant risk to students’ psychological well-being across the country. It remains to be seen how the situation will evolve in the coming days and what steps the Ministry will take to address the public’s concerns.