Degrees in Education Obtained Despite Civil War
By Lorenzo Alvaro (vita.it)
A few days after the attacks of Paris brought extremist violence to Europe, eleven students embodied a sign of hope and peace in South Sudan, a country torn apart by four years of tribal clashes. These eleven students graduated from St. Mary’s University with degrees in education.
"These degrees, obtained despite the civil war and the worst food crisis of the planet, represent an example of how education can be a real antidote against violence. From now on, a very important job awaits them; they will become teachers in a country where 60% of the population is less than 15 years old and where only 24% can read and write. They will help build a brighter future for South Sudan,” said Mauro Giacomazzi of the Luigi Giussani Institute of Higher Education (LGIHE) in Kampala. In the last four years he has been following closely AVSI’s project at St. Mary’s.
The St. Mary’s University was created in 2009 in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, by the Archbishop HE Paulino L. Loro to respond to the critical gap in South Sudan of native professionals in necessary functions like nurses and school teachers. St. Mary’s University enjoys full recognition by government bodies in South Sudan.
In this interview, Mauro Giacomazzi explains how difficult it is to work in education in South Sudan: