Covid-19 has claimed so many lives since it started at the beginning of 2020. Media houses and social media platforms have up to date statistic showing evidence of the number of people infected and those who have died in almost every known country in the world resulting to the call for lockdown in many nations across the world. For many countries in Africa especially in South Sudan education has been stagnant for more than one year since the closure of public places for social gathering schools included. This has also resulted into the closure of formal education. Since formal learning and closure of schools could not be separated in South Sudan, only history will tell how many dreams of young people have been shattered and buried in the year 2020 due to Covid-19 lock down.
How do we observe the lockdown while nurturing the dreams of our young people? In fact, how do we live our lives purposefully with Covid-19 restrictions without burying the dreams of our young people?
One of the prominent Educators recently gave a profound and revealing answer that in most of the developed nations, schools have been closed but formal learning hasn’t. In other words the classrooms have been closed but formal education was still going on through various platforms which are available on the internet. How to keep formal learning despite the lockdown is the challenge that every parent, educator, leader, institution and nation has to earnestly wrestle with and for those of us in the developing nations having poor or lack of internet access, it is a threat just as big as the pandemic itself because if we cannot provide formal education to our children despite the lockdown, we will be burying more dreams of young people and indeed our own nations as time passes by. A community or nation without formal education will sooner or later cease to have a clear and common vision of life and reality.
Therefore, Emmanuel Christian College sought possible avenues to ensure that formal education is not interrupted. On February 1, 2021 the students of Emmanuel Christian College, started their classes. Through a blended learning approach; a combination of distanced learning, face to face short lectures and a maximum observation of the health procedures for the prevention of Covid-19 ECC, students continued their learning.
At the end of the first term all our students have finished their outstanding courses from the academic year 2020 and approximately 80 students have completed their studies in various ECC certificate, diploma and degree programs.
As a college we have discovered that dreams can be nurtured, young people can be encouraged and a clear vision of tomorrow can be inspired despite the covid-19 challenges.
This year our theme is ‘Fear not, for I am with you.’ As we are faced with the challenge of the current coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and other ripple effect attempts to control the disease, let us put our trust fully in the Lord because He has promised to be with us. He is with us.
In the year 2020, I decided to tell my mum that I will be continuing with ECC because I found no difference with going to Uganda or Juba to attain my diploma in any place because ECC offers the excellent educational services. The uniqueness of ECC approach to education, the learning atmosphere and the passion for God and principled life in all the professional course made me choose ECC above any other university within our outside the country.
I am delighted to have chosen this Christ-centered institution where people from different tribes, regions, denominations and backgrounds, all come together at this to study. I am pursuing my Bachelor Degree in Business Administration at Emmanuel Christian College. Since I joined ECC my life has immensely been transformed. My joy and excitement is that I am speaking as a transformed person who has experienced the power of the Word and the power of academic excellence demonstrated by the ECC lecturers.
Emmanuel Christian College trained me to teach learners with courage and confidence. I learnt how to teach learners using teaching aids, prepare lesson plan and scheme of work. This was possible to me because of the constant guidance and support offered by the ECC lecturers.
Therefore, ECC is not only a place for academic excellence but it is a college where one could find love, courage, confidence, support, friends who care. ECC is a center for holistic transformation and is a place where the life of Jesus Christ is made relevant to every aspect of life.