STUDENTS, Fate of 13,000 still unknown
Fate of 13,000 still unknown
Students [File photo from Google]
By Morris Dogga
The fate of more than 13,000 students who missed out on last year’s Sudan School Certificate (SCE) exams is in limbo after parliament failed to come out with a concrete solution on the issue.
Members of the August house were torn in between creating a committee to investigate the existence of the students while the others voted to terminate the debate on the students’ fate.
Forty five MPs voted for the termination of the debate while 41, voted against it. Four MPs did not participate in the poll.
Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-in Opposition (SPLM/IO) Chief whip Bol Garwich queried why the students insisted on the Sudan curricula while there were more credible and cheaper ones from other countries like Kenya and Uganda.
“Why do students want the government to bring an examination that cost one million dollars annually? Why is the complaint coming from the northern part of the country only? The August house should amend the Education Act to suit every one,” he added.
MP for Constituency No. 7 David Okwer lamented that it was not possible to implement the South Sudan curriculum since the country was still at war
“Even the language in Sudan is different. The curriculum is in Arabic language as medium of instruction,” he added.
MP Majur Dut said there was no need to amend the law. Dut said that what was needed was adequate preparations for the students in English language
SPLM/IO MP Deng Alier Kuol said the students should be allowed as a last batch to sit under the SCE curriculum.
“They can phase it out next year,” he remarked.
The voting came moments after the Minister of General Education and Instructions, Deng Deng Hoc Yai denied the existence of the said students during the parliament sitting.
However, Deng told the MPs there was no way students were going to sit for a repeat examinations.
Deng said he was surprised that he had been accused of barring the students from sitting for the papers, saying that his office had not received any letter from the state’s ministries of Education.
“The figures quoted were based on letters from the Parents Teachers Associations (PTA) and the state coordination offices of the two former greater regions,” Deng said.
According to Deng, the role of the PTA does not include writing letters to parliament.
Deng further stated that the state ministers of education were the legitimate body responsible for reporting such issues to the national ministry.
“The issue of the national curriculum is a legal issue that can only be addressed through legal mechanism,” he said.
He said he was only implementing the General Education Act of 2012, which provided for Unified Examinations.
“Some of the primary leavers are opting to sit for the Sudan curriculum because it takes only three years. Some of them want to sit for both SSCE and SSC in case they fail one of them,” Deng added.
According to the minister, some students wanted to take a short cut by joining the university through sitting for the Sudan curriculum since it takes shorter time.
In February the Transitional National Legislative Assembly summoned the minister over the issue.
The alleged 13,807 students who mainly hailed from the Upper Nile and the Bahr El Ghazal regions did not sit for the February papers.
South Sudan phased out all foreign curricula five years ago. Since then, both primary and secondary schools across the country have been using the new curriculum.
Government says ready for peace
By Jale Richard
The government has reiterated its readiness to achieving peace, a day before the United Nations Security Council Sanctions Committee meeting to decide on the fate of South Sudan.
The spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ambassador Mawien Akol Ariik told Juba Monitor yesterday that the government was ready to attain peace through the High Level Revitalization Forum scheduled to resume on 26th this month.
He said South Sudan would wait to comment on the matter after the outcome of the scheduled meeting.
“We have told the UN that the government of South Sudan is committed to peace, we are going back for the peace forum at the end of this month,” Mawien said.
He said the United Nations Security Council should give time to the country to be able to concentrate on its peace process.
The United Nations Security Council Sanctions Committee will meet with a Panel of Experts tomorrow to discuss its final report and recommendations on South Sudan.
In April, the 15-member Council expects to receive a briefing on the UN mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) followed by consultations.
Council members also expect to receive the monthly report from the Secretary-General on violations of the Status of Forces Agreement (SoFA) or obstructions to UNMISS, as requested in resolution 2406.
In October last year, a report from the Security Council committee highlighted a number of issues, such as the high-level revitalization forum for parties to the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in war-torn South Sudan, the regional efforts of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, the dire humanitarian and economic situation and possible impact of additional sanctions.
In March last year, a UN panel of experts called for an arms embargo on South Sudan after it emerged that its government was spending oil revenue on weapons as its citizens faced starvation. The call was, however, opposed by China and Russia, insisting regional nations must play a key role in resolving the South Sudan problem.
South Sudan descended into war in mid-December 2013 when Kiir accused his former deputy Riek Machar of plotting a coup. The conflict has forced more than two million people to flee their homes.