A cohort of South Sudanese students were amongst the hundreds of graduates who were conferred with their degrees at MANCOSA’s recent graduation ceremony. This is a first for MANCOSA who has not capped students from this region in the past.
Mr Samuel Mawel, Human Resources Officer for UNICEF was proud to obtain his Master of Business Administration degree; Mr Kiir Lual, a Director in Administration for South-Sudan’s Ministry of Finance was conferred with his Bachelor of Public Administration degree; Ms Betty Achan, a Human Resources Administrator for UKAID acquired her Bachelor of Commerce degree; Mr Matthew Alege was capped with his Bachelor of Business Administration degree; Ms Jennifer Wanichan, a Logistics officer received her Bachelor of Business Administration degree and Mr Kerubino Deng was conferred with his Bachelor of Business Administration degree.
All seven graduates who hail from Juba studied under challenging circumstances having no electricity in their region and living in a country recovering from the aftermath of a civil war.
Mr Mawel said pursuing higher education in Juba had been challenging because the three State universities had been moved to Khartoum in 2005 and it was not feasible to travel up north on a regular basis to study.
The cohort learnt of MANCOSA and its distance learning programmes from the United Nations in South-Sudan resulting in the students seeking admissions in 2010.
The political climate had created a tense situation in South-Sudan and the students’ study journey had been a challenging one.
Mr Indra Lagu James said:
“The graduation is a milestone in our lives. It’s something we’ve worked long and hard for. We are happy and excited to be in South Africa.”
“We know this qualification will bring along many more opportunities for us. For me this signifies the completion of the first leg of my journey. The labour market at present demands tertiary qualifications from its workforce and I will pursue further studies.”
As capacity development is critical to his country at present, Mr Mawel believes his MBA will help him play a role in this area while serving an HR function in the State Ministry of Finance. His dissertation titled: “Recruitment using competency based interviews by UN agencies in South-Sudan” critically analysed the recruitment processes of organisations in his country.
Ms Achan said it was challenging pursuing education as she comes from a culture where the general view is that women must be home makers and not carve careers for themselves. “The mentality we have is that women must stay at home and not work and we are marginalised by society and given fewer job opportunities.
“I’m excited to graduate and I when I go back to South-Sudan I’m going to be an advocate for women’s education and motivate my peers to pursue an education no matter how old they are,” said Ms Achan.