[Thought Piece] Dr. John Garang Memorial University of Science and Technology: Transformation Process Since its Establishment in 2008

A brief overview and background information

The Institute of Science and Technology was established by order No. 3, 2008, During laying of the foundation stone, President Salva Kiir gave it the name of Dr. John Garang Memorial University of Science and Technology. The reason for renaming it was to honour and memory of late Dr. John Garang de Mabior, the founder and leader of Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A). Late Dr. John Garang pioneered the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), 2005 which embedded referendum article and with the referendum popular vote culminated in to the independence of the Republic of South Sudan on 9th July 2011. Fortunately, and prior to 2011, in March 2010, the Institute was nationalized and upgraded to university status by H.E. Omar Hassan Ahmed Al Bashir, President of the Republic of Sudan at that time.

The upgrading of the institute to the level of a university marks the first stage of transformation from private institute to a national university in Jonglei state. As an institute the collaboration agreement was signed by Jonglei state governor with the Rector of Free International University of Moldova (ULIM). This collaboration agreement led to the opening of the Institute on 1st February 2008. The Institute was to award degrees with accreditation from the Free International University of Moldova (ULIM), based on European Union Standards. It was to train about 100 students but currently in its status as the university, students’ population has risen to over 2000.

Transforming University Infrastructure

Since its establishment the institute set up temporary or fabricated structures for administration offices, lecture halls, and library with students sleeping in the tents. Thereafter its upgrading to the level of the university, it built few students hostels in semi- permanent structures. There was no staff accommodation built. But the present staff mess for junior staff was built by the university contractor as a bakery. Instead, it is turned into an accommodation facility for the junior teaching staff.

Since then, the university has five existing colleges: college of Agriculture, college of Education, college of Environmental Studies, college of Management Sciences, college of Science and Technology. In addition, college of postgraduate Studies and Scientific Research was established recently in 2019 to present. Also, one Institute at Padak for fisheries was created. Important to point out there is no single college constructed in permanent facility.

However, construction of the new triple complex building marks major transformation of the university building infrastructure. This giant complex building consist of ten (10) lecture halls with seating capacity of 500,450,400,350 and the smallest with 300 students respectively. There is a conference/examination hall with seating capacity ranging from 1,500 to 2,000. There is also a medium meeting hall for the university council. The complex building also include twenty-three (23) beautiful offices to accommodate professors, lecturers and administrators with decent comfort since its inception.

Precisely, Dr. JG-. MUST Triple complex building/three-unit block building is constructed with permanent structures. The New Complex Building was constructed on the basis of world class universities standards. Also, Covid-19 protocols were also incorporated.eg social distancing.

With commitment, our next strategy of infrastructural transformation is to construct four laboratories of computer, chemistry, biology and physics labs with world class standards.

More importantly, the lab equipment and furniture are also available and lacking space to keep and to utilize them effectively in the container labs. Fortunately, our physics lab is equipped with some drones for training of students. The Biology lab is also well equipped. We have modern microscopes connected with computers for efficient and accurate diagnostic analysis. Chemistry lab is further equipped with standards. Likewise, the computer lab is equipped with thirty brand new desktop computers and with a server. We acknowledge the support of STEM Power for this invaluable donations for our laboratories.

In addition, we have installed 54 solar panels and 34 solar batteries and therefore, our electricity work for 24 hours daily, all these were the donations from the same partner- the STEM Power.

Soon we are going to establish agricultural lab for soil analysis and for production of dairy products such as yogurt, cheese, fresh milk and others including production of bottle water.

Concurrently, with the construction of laboratories the entrance or the university gate will be constructed at the same time during the dry season.

Please Read the complete Thought Piece here

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