I thank God for having made me dream of joining Yei Teacher Training College through a teacher Conference that was held at Yei SPC (Sudan Pentecostal Church) in March 2014. I was a teacher in the field by 2014 in Royal School International, Yei, as an un trained teacher. The organisers ( Gudnebors) offered to pay those who were willing to join a certificate training and I picked the interest. I had never though t of teaching as my profession, but on the other hand, while in the conference, Mr. James Kepo’s speech inspired me towards the profession, more so his phrase: ‘there is no better profession because every profession has got its ups and downs and the best job is the one which makes you do good to your people and others around you.’ That strongly triggered me to make a decision of opting for the scholarship. Since then I found my self enjoying the course, developing a deeper insight about it. Then I said to myself that one can never run away from what God wants them to be.
I would like to discuss my life in YTTC in the following aspects:
- Social Development
- Academic/ Intellectual Development
- Spiritual Development
- Agricultural Development.
- Agricultural experience
YTTC is a College which accommodates students from all the 10 states of South Sudan and beyond. As we stayed in the College, we learnt many things from each other including:
I have witnessed my friends change in behaviour from the worst to the best. Some had anti social behaviour but they became socially good. This is because the college expects high moral standards in the student teachers. One of my friends early this year was going to the wash toilet with a jug that he would later on use for drinking water and this could be the way they behave in their culture, but because I knew how we stay in the College, I helped him by asking him to use a basin to take water to the wash toilet which he accepted and thanked me for doing that. So while at the College, I have learnt a lot of good things from my colleagues and vice versa. Others came when they had short temper, where by they easily get provoked but in the college because of the provision of the rules and regulations one always had to adjust to the community.
Students have learnt the habit of love, we shared love among each other regardless of our tribal and religious affiliations, showing care to the sick, taking care of our property, helping each other in times of troubles and challenges. It is because of the loving nature of the college.
Good Tutor/ Student Relationship
The tutors I got on ground up to date are experienced, they really know how to interact with every kind of student, they demonstrate good behaviour under the leadership of a very good and fatherly Principal, ( Mr. Kepo James). The tutors also advocate for good morals among the students.
Since I joined the college up to date, the students are encouraged to perform inter-cultural activities like traditional dances and songs which made us bond our relationship.
Work and Time
I have learnt that working together as exhibited in this College helps us to make work simple and it makes us united. I and my fellow male colleagues have changed from the ideology of leaving most domestic chores especially sweeping, collecting rubbish to the women but now we work as equals. Work also goes hand in hand with time as the College slogan says: ‘Not even a second lost,’ which positively changed my mentality about time.
2 Academic /Intellectual Development
I realised that the college that I am in has all that it takes for a student to excel academically, I am being taught by good and very knowledgeable tutors who are easily approachable; they readily availed me the necessary academic requirements which made me to be the best in my performance.
I also experienced that much as the Tutors are there and the Library is there as well, one’s personal effort through hard work and discipline in such an institution results in quality results in academics. We interacted in groups to share our academic experiences pertaining some topics in the various disciplines which made me excel also. My guiding principal to success is ‘God first, discipline and hardwork’ to excel.
As per my profession, I was able to gain skills of effective teaching. I became changed from when I was gambling teaching after my ordinary level (O’ Level). In the one month of my teaching at EPC/ harvester Christian School) after completing my certificate level, I realised a drastic positive change in my approaches, methodology, activities, use of learning materials in teaching. I did what the tutors taught me. I announced my departure for further studies and my learners were not happy with others weeping because they thought I should continue with them.
I joined the College in 2014 when it was only offering grade III programme and the diploma programme was opened in my presence and now I am in it because of the need to better my job. I find life exciting in the diploma class because I only have a year to complete it. Though one might be worried of the workload but as a student I always know I have to work hard.
Most importantly the college has made me a ‘www.com’ teacher, I was computer illiterate but now I can make work simpler using the computer.
Meanwhile at the College, I worried about school practice which is money demanding because it is the one that qualifies one to become a teacher. The requirements cost a deal of money but I have always been creative in improvising some of the requirements hence minimising the cost. Even right now in diploma I still have the same worry more so due to the sky rocketing prices which have risen to 500% in almost every commodity compared to 2014, the time I joined.
The college did not make me only get academic knowledge but also put in me good leadership skills. I have learnt leadership both practically and theoretically in a sense that the tutors lecture about leadership skills as well as parade themselves as good leaders.
Practically I have observed and admired the leadership skills of Mr. Kepo James, our Principal whom I describe as a purely democratic leader, I have not witnessed any problem arise due to failure of his leadership. Other students and I have high talks about him and wish to be like him, when we reach our communities. Mr. Kepo and his immediate colleagues in leadership have demonstrated the core values of the college such as honesty, transparency, accountability and so on and that is why anything concerning plans and budgets of the college sometimes is brought to as low as the attention of the students that shows a high level of transparency, hence I have never witnessed any breakdown in the service delivery in the college. I think this is why the college is developing in its physical infrastructure, for instance the two storey buildings with the most recent development being the building of the gents storey dormitory. This doesn’t happen anywhere around the nation of South Sudan. How I wish other leaders could imitate this for the development of the nation. All these I have seen up to date has challenged me until I get the chance to practice what I have admired from the leadership of the College.
The guild initiative helped me to realise my leadership abilities especially when I was vetted to be the guild secretary in 2014/15.
4. Spiritual development
I attributed my success in the College to the mercy of God and Lord Jesus Christ our saviour. My soul and many other souls of the students have been saved in this college spiritually. I never believed in God so much because I thought I was in lots of trouble, hence no such God would save me from the troubles I had. But on the other hand, his eyes were down on me. He showed me his presence by at first giving me the chance of my scholarship at no cost, and secondly leading me to such a good Christian oriented institution that is multi denominational. The College programme of devotion where praising worshipping and sharing the word of the Lord is done really changes life. I have learnt to push close to god, I used to be worse than what I am now. I drunk alcohol and did other sinful acts but through the devotion program, I have found joy in Christ but not alcohol and that is why I am saved as I write my experience.
I have never been a leader in the church in any way but I have learnt to lead praise in the college, share the word of God which I have extended to my community. My people thanked me for joining such a college that changed my life style. Student who didn’t know about God have come to learn more in YTTC hence, becoming changed completely.
I have learnt to fast from the college, the college’s day of prayer and fasting is joyful and life changing. After realising that the college has a day once a year for prayers and fasting I have chosen my personal days devoting myself in fasting.
The college has shown me a practical way of doing agriculture. The college’s Goja farm made me learn that we have to till to eat as well as buy from the market. I have always enjoyed the work we do communally in the college’s farm around and in the farm at Goja. While working one really sees the characteristics of social insects in the students, we cooperate and cultivate a big land in a short time. I have also enjoyed the produce from our handwork from the college farm. For instance maize, beans, pea leaves/’ngete’ , tomatoes and cassava. While in the diploma program I still continue to enjoy the cassava which we planted last year(2015). These things are usually commissioned to God before we enjoy and that made me to feel that I can as well use my hands to cultivate in order to supplement the salary that I will get after my second graduation. Digging in the College is also fun, where we see people who never handled a hoe do it in the College. They usually dig with the hoe at least a meter away to avoid dirtening themselves which always made us laugh. We usually sing as we go to Goja farm and as we return. It is also a picnic opportunity for the student.
Conclusively where I am right now (Year III) many things will be done in a short time but I have to use my time constructively in order to excel again which I don’t doubt my self doing. Everybody at campus is very busy almost all the time.
Lastly, while in YTTC we have to learn from each other and I can confidently say that YTTC is a center of holistic development as being the only Diploma offering institution especially in education. And I will always be happy to those who are behind the existence of this College because they have opened the way for many of us.’