Message from President and CEO

Chol Yaak Akoi - President and CEO ISTL

Chol Yaak Akoi"It is my pleasure to welcome you all to the ISTL fraternity. ISTL believe that every child anywhere in the world is similar, the difference is the opportunities avail to him/her. As the President and CEO, I firmly believe that Education is not the eye opener but it is the EYE through which ones can see, appreciate and value the world. I am very passionate about holistic education specifically to children, women (Girl-Child), needy and talented young people in the war-torn regions (Education in Emergencies). I come from a country, South Sudan, where education is an option but not obligation and priority to the citizen owing to the cultures-that abdicate and disregard girls over boys- and the long conflicts, hence education in emergency areas fascinated me because I identify with it since my academic journey has been tough and rough. It takes more than patience, determination, optimism and assiduousness to be where I am today. I might have not achieved much but I am grateful when I look back at my footprints.
I am also interested in the multi-facet or rather multi-dimensional system of education, where communal values are incorporated into the learningprogramsin order to customize education based on values of all cultures and religions. This can mitigate if not eliminate the conflict and fear of unknown that arise between the communal belief, norms and practices. Education is stereotyped in some society as a foreign influences. This can be achieved through teaching local languages up to a certain level of study alongside the main international languages.Multi-dimensional approach can also incorporate non-curricula learnings where young people are nurtured and encourage to tap their potential in all dimensions. This can be sport talent, artistic talent among others.

“Education is the key to life” goes an old adage, but life itself has other pressing aspects to it beside education which cannot be neglected lest we forfeit life or education remain a mirage. For instance, one cannot go to school when he/she is starving or with severe ailments, there is a need to look at other areas (non-educational) that complement education. This calls for a multi sectors alliance.

The emphasisand effort should therefore be balanced between these areas/sectors, for instance, Health and Food sectors. Moreover,areas that endanger or hamper education like conflict (wars) should be dealt with jointly and precisely. The world must rise above the challenge of increasing conflict which expose innocent children and women, just to mention but a few vulnerable people, spent the rest of their lives in s deplorable condition instead of going to school. Education system should incorporate needs to peacefully co-exist, making leadership a prerequisite programs to all learners in-order to inculcate a sense of responsibility and respect for humanity,among others.

This is a paradigm shift that will enable young people grow up with love for one another and mold them into a responsible and peace-loving, development-oriented global citizens (Education for a global citizen).The other paradigm shift that might seem to veer away from the common practice, where most learning institutions-although most learning centers are structure-less(Under trees)-are in the urban areas.It would be prudent to adopt the practice of taking schools to the learners/villages rather than taking learners to schools. This would increase the enrollment level of learners as accessibility is another factor that thwart willing learners.

The cost of education is way out of reach for most people who are willing but do not have the means/resources. I wonder aloud if it is impossible for the governments or global initiatives to offer a free education up to a certain levels (High schools) would be feasible.

I greatly feel that collective efforts and creativity would change the face of education completely. It is therefore high time to eschew imitation and embrace innovation because Imitation is a vintage, but Innovation would bear ripen fruits.

The ISTL believe that education for all would make the world a better place to be, where children are equipped with necessary skills that would enable them become great and successful leaders. ISTL advocates for equitable life-long learning to the less fortunate.

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you all and acknowledge the relentless continued support of our partners and friends. Thanks you very much, ISTL sorority is grateful for your support."

Best regards,
Chol Yaak Akoi
President & CEO-ISTL