Disputation: Emmanuel Wilson Walla

Master Emmanuel Wilson Walla at the Department of Education will be defending the thesis "HIV/AIDS, TRADITIONS AND EDUCATION IN SOUTH SUDAN" for the degree of Phd.

Wallas. Photo.

Emmanuel W. Walla. Photo: Private

Click here to attend the trial lecture and digital defence on Zoom

Please send an email to Magnus Heie (magnus.heie@ils.uio.no) to order a digital copy of the dissertation.

Trial lecture - time and place

Friday September 17, 3 p.m. on Zoom.

Title of the trial lecture: "What role does formal schooling play in addressing the challenges of education learners in dealing with HIV-AIDS in South Sudan?"

Adjudication committee

Professor David Stephens, University of Brighton (the first opponent)

Professor Paul Thomas, University of South-Eastern Norway (the second opponent)

Professor Anne Line Wittek, Department of Education, Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Oslo, is the third member of the committee and the committee's coordinator.

Chair of defence

Head of Department Professor Tone Kvernbekk, Department of Education, Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Oslo


  • Professor Anders Breidlid, Oslo Metropolitan University
  • Professor Jon Lauglo (deceased), Department of Education, Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Oslo


This research explores the role of formal schooling in addressing the challenge of educating learners in South Sudan to deal with HIV/AIDS pandemic. The research also aims to develop new knowledge to help the implementation of effective campaigns to address the impact of the pandemic. Emphasis is placed on the roles of the parents, who are the custodians of Indigenous Knowledges, traditional cultural values and informal education in the communities; the teachers, who implement modern education policy through formal schooling as introduced by the western civilization; and the learners who are caught between the two education approaches. The underlying assumption is that the entrenched traditional cultural values of the South Sudanese will be effectively mainstreamed into the HIV/AIDS education policy to attain the desired results and thus impede the spread of the pandemic. The study had six objectives and used three questions to investigate the aims and objectives of the research. Mixed methods were used to collect primary data from 21 policy makers, educators, parents and relevant stakeholders through interviews and focus groups with 64 learners. A survey was conducted with 300 learners and 54 teachers in 6 schools in Juba and Yambio, South Sudan. Secondary data was gathered from 10 policy and other relevant documents. Theoretical insights were gained from the work of Bronfenbrenner and Gyekye among others to situate the findings within a sound framework. The major findings of the study indicate that schools are a necessary but insufficient vehicle for an effective HIV/AIDS education strategy. This insufficiency is due to systemic failures at the macro, the community and school levels. The rationalist framework within which teaching is conducted conflicts with the reality of community life and teachers themselves are not adequately prepared for a role in combatting HIV/AIDS. At the personal level pupils often seem better informed than their teachers but there is a knowledge and understanding conflict between the beliefs and practices of the home environment and what is taught in schools. An effective strategy should be based on the analysis derived from this research, the most dominant issue of which is that the bridging of the gap between tradition and modernity is the critical factor in adapting the school’s programme to community reality. The obvious disconnect has to be addressed through a national strategic programme based on a deeper understanding of the nature of this gap.

Published Sep. 16, 2021 9:10 AM - Last modified Oct. 21, 2021 12:16 PM