By: Jwothab Wanh Othow

 An education is necessity to promote the advancement in society for the better future. The word educate comes from Latin and it means "To draw out." Educators must make a major paradigm shift be able to draw out the knowledge that they have already to improve the Chollo society and the general welfare.

Education has become a major instrument of development and modernization in society. An educated person must be able to utilize his or her knowledge through the process of change in the society for a better future. Traditional Chollo society expects those who are educated in the holistic sense to make significant and meaningful contributions to their society. This paper is intended to provoke; it is an attempt to create a meaningful dialogue among Chollo educators about what it means to be an educated person and the role of an educated person in society. I know that there are those of you might disagree with my view, but the reality is that it is happening in our society. I strongly believe in unifying Chollo by showing respect of one another and in preserving Chollo norms and social identity.

 The idea of an educated person in the Chollo society is holistic; it is inclusive of evidence of a well integrated person with positive moral dispositions and observance of the ethical norms and values of the society.

 An educated person should be capable of functioning effectively in society and be able to build a better society for generations to come. Chollo ordinary people expect an educated person to be the shining light for society and to be able to transform Chollo society to become a better society. The purpose of education is to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to make informed and reasonable decision in the society.  Chollo young educators should integrate their knowledge to solve the social problems that exist in our society and work together as united people. There is an urgent need for Chollo educators to adopt and utilize a holistic conception of an educated person. Chollo educators should emphasize the ethical dimensions of education to make efforts by integrating ideas of development in society. Ordinary Chollo view an educated person as the principles of enlightenment and conditions for human progress in society. An educated person is the one who shows evidence of a well integrated personality, meaningful contributions toward the society; it builds acceptable moral that is intellectually and culturally sophisticated.

 

 Chollo understanding of an educator person is perhaps necessary and important especially at this time where Chollo educates made no significant contribution to society and social change and development in society. It is undeniable that there are many unfruitful competitions among young Chollo educators. Pride and arrogance for their academic achievement has become an obstacle among Chollo to work together. This is vital for our common interest as people. One could ask the question, "What is the role and place of young Chollo educator in contemporary collo society"?  It is shameful and ridiculous because some of the Chollo who claim to be educators are drifting away from our social norms and using defective views that do not constitute Chollo values and beliefs. This deviant behavior could lead to very a serious consequence for the future of Chollo social identity and social norms. Some of these ineffective educators who call themselves educators cannot offer anything significant to society except they are known for creating egocentric confusion in the society.  The most of young Chollo educators today who graduates from different varieties of universities and Colleges are responsible for the lack of "kom dhok akyel" in the Chollo community because they are egocentric and greedy.  For those who are continuing to boast about their academic achievements without applying the fundamental purpose of education is useless.

 Philosophy argues that education should empower individuals, liberates the mind and cultivates social responsibility in solving the problems that face the society as a whole. I urged Chollo young educators to use their education to improve the Chollo society and not become a destruction of Chollo society. While education is on every politician's agenda as an item of serious importance, it is astonishing that the notion of what it means to be educated never seems to come up in Chollo society.  An educated person should possess the knowledge of enlightenment in the society and that is needed for making informed rational decisions in the society.  The self aggrandizement among young Chollo educators would not produce anything for the Chollo community except the ongoing division in our community. It is important for young Chollo educators to have the foundational knowledge and to utilize them to make advancement in the society and forms a more productive society.  I believe the conflicts surrounding the Chollo community today is due to intellectual's self-importance and lack of full understanding of what it means to be an educated person. Chollo can only move forward to achieve our common goals if and when those who call themselves educators can humble themselves to be able to recognize each other and become united people.

 These willful educators are the one who are contributing to the existing divisions within the Chollo community and this is a disgrace for the academic credentials. The education could be considered as a useless thing if it does not deliver service to the people. We should not focus on our differences more than our common interest and the common welfare of all Chollo.  Chollo intellectuals should stop the competition and glorification of themselves among Chollo educators without making any significant effort toward building society. We should use the highest ideals of education to promote the welfare of Chollo people and to promote a sense of mutual understanding among Chollo educators. Chollo society desperately needs you to use your intellectual capability and talents to promote the advancement of Chollo society and for the common good of our society. Academic achievement without offering anything good toward the society is absolutely useless. Today, there are more Chollo young graduates than any other time in Chollo history. Our ordinary people expected an educated person to be able to help them improve their lives and the general welfare of society. An educated person should know about what is important and the role of an educated in society.

 An educated person should possess the mastery of general thinking abilities required to resolve the problems that exist in the society. As an educated person, we must be able to work together to achieve our common goals and the common welfare of our society.  I am afraid that ongoing internal divisions and the lack of unity will threaten the Chollo's values and social norms if the young Chollo educators do not change their behaviors.  We are the ones who make the choice and the choices we make will affect the outcome of our future and Chollo as a whole.  This is a turning point for Chollo where we are failing to fulfill our obligation to work for the common interest and social welfare of our people. Chollo ordinary people expect an educated person to be a problem solver and not a problem maker. I strongly believe an educated person must have a global perspective of knowledge; be adaptable, have holistic interdisciplinary and acceptable behaviors to the society.

 I strongly believe that an intellectual person must be able to make meaningful contributions in the society not just to benefit oneself but society as a whole. Unfortunately, there are many sentiments among the young Chollo intellectual community who lacks the understanding to work together for the common welfare of the Chollo society. We must put our differences aside and work diligently to improve the welfare of Chollo society.  I also believe that an educated person should have a function and purpose beyond himself or herself alone.  There are many young Chollo graduates today who lack a real sense of what it means to be an educated person in the society in which he / she lives. I warned young Chollo educators against succumbing to a feeling of elitism that could lead to false pride and a false sense of self importance.  We have highly educated young Chollo graduates, but when one looks at what they are doing today in Chollo society it is unbelievable. A Chinese emperor of the third century B.C., Qin Shi Huang had buried intellectuals alive due to their behavior and the lack of proper use of the true meaning of education.

The worse part is that some of Chollo educators who called themselves educators are the ones who created the divisions that exist in the Chollo community. Education is useless if it destroys the norms of society and the unity of the people in the society. The true purpose of education is transforming the society for a better future.  Education is useless if it leads to divisions among us and destruction of our society. Education is useless if it separates us rather than brings us together. In ancient Greece , Socrates argued that education was about drawing out what was already within the student, but when one looks at many young Chollo graduates from different varieties of universities and colleges, they have not drawn out the knowledge that they have learned. An educated person should know what you can and more importantly to know what you do not know. Because of their failure to transform the society instead they are creating a setback for the Chollo community. I strongly believe that true educator is to be able to serve others and to transform the society for a better future.

 I am very sad that Chollo intellectuals are losing a sense of belonging and social identity. Sometime I ask myself the question what is the role and place of Chollo intellectuals in the community?  It is sad to say that a great numbers of young Chollo graduates  who called themselves educators do  not think logically about what it mean to be an educators  It is shameful and ridiculous because some of the Chollo intellectuals are drifting away from our own social norms.  It is misleading and even dangerous to justify ourselves as educators and yet we are ignorance not knowing what is vital for our common interest and the social welfare of our people. The issues are not how many degrees that one has but how to utilize the concept of education to transform the society for the better future.

I strongly believe that the education must have a function and purpose beyond itself alone. I urge Chollo educators to realize that divisions among young Chollo intellectuals are inevitable and we must do something about it before it is too late. It is shameful that education of some Chollo educators have been a disgrace to the Chollo community due to their pride and egocentric among Chollo educators. I truly believe that we have the responsibility to shape the future of our society and the generations yet to come. So, let us come together, bring our strengths together, move from darkness to light, and let us avoid the poison of misunderstanding, divisions, bias, and hatred among ourselves.  In this way we will be strong and we will prevail.

* The author is a Sudanese living in the United States; he can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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People in this conversation

  • Guest - Emmanuel Bedping Awang

    Brother Jwothab, i strongly appreciate every word in your article , yes it is time for us to come together to stop misunderstanding,divisions and hatred among ourselves. Am proposing to all chollo young Intellectuals and youth to sit and discuss the roots and causes of division among us. This in a Conference but not like the previous conferences and Elders should be execluded.This is the best time for us to unite.

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  • Guest - James Okuk

    Though I agree with some of his arguments, I beg to differer with the author of this article and I hope he will not understand my disagreement as intellectual arrogance as he seemed to be propagating against here.

    1. The title of this article is an insult rather than a challenge to some of the good educated Collo members. Not all the educated Collo members qualify for what the author is saying here. Some are good and some are bad and some are in-between. Please do not generalize Collo because you will do injustice to the good and middle ones.

    2. The idea of the 'uneducated' (or better to use 'illiterate') Collo members folding their hands and waiting for a miracle of progress and prosperity from the educated intellectual Collo is a bad idea; it encourages dependency syndrome and defeats self-reliance.

    3. the use of the phrase 'lack of unity of Collo'is a blanket statement which is vague. We should be clear about what kind of 'unity' we are talking about: unity in politics, unity in business or unity in what. We should also be clear about 'unity with who; or 'unity about what.' Otherwise we are just writing about unity for the sake of writing only.

    3. Education has its disadvantages as much as it has advantages. We do not need to be emotional about it. We should just know that its is one of the human inventions not immune from weaknesses and loopholes.The same holds for the 'educators' or the 'educated' which the author seems not to differentiate. Each of them are not immune from human weaknesses.

    4. It is impossible for any human society even from its basic unit at the family level to live without "misunderstanding, divisions, bias, and hatred among ourselves." Otherwise we are trying to force human beings to pretend to be angels when they cannot be even metaphysically.

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  • Guest - Daniel AmumOdwel

    Personal I agree that education is the best tool for advancement in any given society for which the author of article was much concern for it welfare. But on other side education can be destructive tool eliminate humanity, for with education knowledge we build destructive weapons that bring the world into nothing.Now it free for every person to use his or her education in the areas that will bring benefits to entire community they wish to serve rather than using it destroy the people. The author seems much concern about Collo welfare this is why he is crying to all Collo intellectuals to utilize their knowledge for development of Collo community and let live behind our differences before it is too late, the author is too humanist in his approach to the matter of concern, I think that what he try to bring to our attention.
    Yes, we as people under the sun we disgree, this come as result that we are unique people and the way we look at the matters are different and it is normal. But our disagreement must not be on goals and objectives for our services to people in the methods we intent to serve the people, or our disagreement should not reach to personal enmity that is the weakness, and this may imply that we have nothing we wish to contribute. For if we real have some thing we aim to pass to the people we can look for other alternative until people won our goals and objective rather than fighting people to accept our objectives. In other words, we must be ready to sell our ideas to others until they understand our aims, and this way the intellectuals people must do the things.
    I do agree with the comments of our brother Okuk that brothers within one family do fight yes that normal, but that fighting should not continue indefinite, because it can involve other brothers who are innocent to join in that fight on friendship ground and that may deepen the crices and wider the gap between brothers. For that matter no body will be thinking of doing some thing for that family, but every one will be plan to eleminate his brother so that he may feel secure. I personal assumed that the author is too worry about the danger two brothers without the end, this is why he is calling for unity amoung the brethren who are fighting to begin accomplish goals for which they are fighting.Being in different parties should not stop our services to entire community.Therefore, our knowledge must be a blessing to our community rather than being a curse to the people we want to uphold.
    I think the author want to caution us that if we continue in our enmity differences then people will look at us as unlearned who bring agony and affliction on entire comuunity.
    Through this article let begin questioning ourselves what have we contribute so far for the community the author of article is cry for? What is wrong with us, is it real education that made us to behave in the ways we do now or that goes back to our personality and background? For me let modify our preception about others and begin to appreciate others as we appreciate ourselves, we should not think that we every thing and others are not

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  • Guest - michael

    Iam very please with what Jwothab wanh has been expressing about the condition in our society as intellectual disgrace.This ongoing uncivilized need to be seen by two eyes with all of us.It said "when the going gets rough,nobody gets thrown to the wolves. This is a basic principle of a human civilization of life and love;we ignore it to our peril.

    Sometimes problems that seem very big need to be viewed from a different angle of observation.We get enclosed in boxes tht limit our avility to see an entire picture.Arapidlu changing world means we have to get out of our boxes in order to see enough of the picture that we can authentically respond".

    Either you will act on this situation or it will act on you.Afrcision to do nothing bout this is a decision to make the situation worse.It won't get better by itself. A flat tire is flat tire, it has to be chanfed. standing there and wishing it were otherwise, or denying that the tire is flat,gets you nowhere. Positive action in support of safety and security is evidence of resilience in a family and a community.
    Since ancient times we've been telling each other and our children stories and proverbs about how important it is to watch or canfers and take precautions. Look before you leap, watch where you're going ,a stitch in time saver nine, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,Hindsight is always 20/20--it's foresight you have to work on, these are just a few lf the ways that we teach the cultural and personal importance of watching out for yourself and others that you are responsible for.This is an important habit because while the world is full of blessings and opportunities, it is also a risky and hazardous place. The point of"watching ou"is to avoid trouble, or manage it when it is inevitable.Cultivating the virtue of prudence & its associated discipline of sustainable living helps a family or community successfully surmount challenfes. The time build the cellar is before the tornado hits.

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  • Guest - Jwothab Othow

    I am very pleased with your comments brothers on an article I posted recently on Pachodo website under title: “Intellectual Disgrace in Shilluk Society.” You know Brothers; many of you are aware about everything I said in the article. This paper was intended to challenge Chollo young generations educators about their role and place of an educated person in Chollo society today. There are those who view it as an insult but in reality it was intended and direct challenging to Chollo young generations to reevaluate themselves about their role in the society as educators. This was also awakening to all Chollo intellectual that what is happening in Chollo community today lies in our hands to change the current situations in Chollo community or we can leave it as some of us seemed to deny it and I respect their view.
    Chollo must come to the moment of truth in order to change the current situation in our community otherwise we will continue to suffer. It is true that some people don’t like the truth and a fact of what is happening in the Chollo community today; because we are part of it and causes of the current confusion and division in Chollo community. In order for us to build a better Chollo tomorrow, we must maintain a Unity of purpose based on new consensus. Chollo future is in peril with the Chollo young generation which happened to be at the tipping point. What is needed now in Chollo community; is a new sense of Unity and to come together in a new consensus with each other and a new commitment to build a better Chollo tomorrow.

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