Scopas Bullen Lado is a student with us at YTTC. He has come as part of our in-service program. He is currently the Headmaster of a school in Lainya County, Central Equatoria. Though he has been in the profession for many years he has not had any formal training. His rise up the career ladder to his current position was through hard-work and a natural aptitude for the job. When the charity Zoa went to Lainya offering to fund the training of teachers in the region, Scopas jumped at the chance as he wanted to learn what education actually means. He aimed to expand his knowledge of the role with things such as the responsibilities and ethics of teaching.
Scopas was born and raised in Lainya. When he was old enough to choose a career he knew he wanted to become a teacher. He says “Teaching is my calling”. He completed Senior 3 and was used to helping to teach others in his class. He started out trying to teach in schools however it was not easy to get a job so he got employed with the UN refugee education program. In 1984 he was sent to a refugee camp for Ugandans based in Sudan.
Due to the ongoing civil war in Sudan he was displaced to Kaya in Sudan in 1990. From there people were forced to go into Uganda in 1993. In 1997 he returned to Central Equatoria. He was placed in a displaced people’s camp in the liberated area of Bamure. In 1999 he was finally able to return home to Lainya. He was teaching throughout all this time of instability and uncertainty.
His profession has changed a lot in recent years and he believes there are many trials ahead for all teachers. Salary is a big issue at the moment. Payment for work doesn’t come through regularly anymore which can make managing personal finances a real struggle. Back when he was employed by the UN there were regular inspections of the school. At least once a week somebody would come to ensure that the standards were being maintained. It is now a lot different. Schools are being left to get on with it themselves which means that there are discrepancies between schools in terms of teaching and management.
Despite these challenges Scopas remains upbeat. He thinks teaching is vitally important because it changes the community positively. “It’s a chance to change the new generation, making them civilised by putting down the weapons. It also develops them, they find their own selves.”
He has relished his time at YTTC. Soon after joining us he was chosen by his fellow pupils to hold the role of Student Co-ordinator for in-service students. This role entails doing the rota for the college maintenance and managing the affairs of the students. His most important job is to represent the in-service students to management, taking care of any problems or queries which they may have.
He says “YTTC is the right place to get the right knowledge in order to go and inject the community with the right material”. He hopes that in the future the course at YTTC can be developed into a diploma program and maybe later the college could be able to offer degrees.
By James Loveder