On International Literacy Day, South Sudanese Bishop Challenges Youth to Go for Knowledge

Logo International Literacy Day 2020.

On International Literacy Day celebrated September 8, a South Sudanese Bishop has challenged young people in South Sudan to invest in reading to gain knowledge to help build the East-Central African country, cautioning against the growing tendency of the youth in the nine-year-old nation to assign themselves academic titles not conferred upon them by institutions of higher learning.

In his message on Tuesday, September 8, Bishop Hiiboro Kussala of South Sudan’s Tombura-Yambio Diocese advises the youth to increase their knowledge by reading books, which he said are “a collection of ideas and research put together.”

“I want to appeal to our young people to have time to read; never spend a whole day without reading. Get a book and read it,” Bishop Hiiboro says, and explains, “If you have a phone with Internet, go to Google, get information and read the books that are available online, among them the Bible.”

Acknowledging the efforts of those who have written about the history of South Sudan and literature, the South Sudanese Prelate says, “Let us develop this culture of writing; though people have written a lot of information about us, we in South Sudan need to begin writing from our point of view and what we know about our country and communities.”

“To end this syndrome of illiteracy within our place, South Sudan, let us embark in a special way to make policies that really protect the quality of education that can promote and instill the desire for learning,” the Local Ordinary of Tombura-Yambio Diocese says.


Advocating for the children to receive quality education, the Bishop says, “Let the teachers be held high; the teachers are the parents and those who take upon themselves the profession of passing their own knowledge.”

In his September 8 message, the Prelate appeals to each citizen to put education first for not only their own children but also for all the South Sudanese school going young people.

“Let each one of us in this country have priorities and a program for education for not only one’s children because we all know that other people benefit from the fruits of other people’s labour,” he says and adds, “People who have been educated like the President of South Sudan was taken care of by other people but we have now benefited from him.”

The South Sudanese Prelate emphasizes the importance of sharing educational services saying, “All the teachers, the medical doctors, the engineers, the pilots, drivers, the business people, all these people have been taught and supported with school fees by some other individuals but we are now benefiting from their services.”

Irritated by unnecessary use of honorary titles by students at colleges and universities, the 56-year-old Church leader asks the youth to be patient until graduated by the university.

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“I warn some of our young people on the use of titles. I have seen something not right. Many young people assign themselves titles that they do not deserve, titles they did not work for,” Bishop Hiiboro says in an audio intended for the public consumption on the Day of Literacy.

He explains, “You call yourself a doctor. To be a doctor of philosophy, you have to do the real study, real research, exploring of ideas, making contribution into the system and into the scope of knowledge; you don’t go about calling yourself doctor without going through a proper process.”

“The doctor actually is the fruit of the work that you had acquired and the doctorate is felt in your attitude, in your language and the way you approach issues,” he says in his audio message and cautions, “Don’t call yourself a doctor when you are not pronounced by the legitimate institution by the authority that has been invested in that institution to make you a doctor of philosophy.”

Cautioning the youth undergoing studies in various disciplines, the Bishop says, “If you are admiring to be an engineer, admiring to be a doctor, don’t take the title you didn’t qualify for and mess up information in the society.”

Among the things spiritual leaders do besides helping the people spiritually is giving opportunities for knowledge building, he says.


“As a Bishop, I see education as key; literacy is the key to the transformation of the country Republic of South Sudan,” he says and adds, “It is the key to the transformation of individuals, it is the key to peace.”

Bishop Hiiboro continues in his audio message, “Let us all mobilize to solve our community issues, community problems through the means of education, giving health education, giving quality education, providing access to the element of learning through every way from home to the street, to the market, to the Church and everywhere.”

“If at all we are worried about the way things are going in the country, if we are worried about the poverty, if we are worried about the conflict, the answer is let us do away with illiteracy; provide opportunities for learning for our young people, for ourselves and for all,” the South Sudanese Prelate concludes.