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Students stranded as gov’t delays air ticket funds

By James Atem Kuir

South Sudanese students on government scholarship to Ethiopia said they are stranded in the country as government continues to delay travel funds for their return.

About 180 students said they could not return to resume classes three months after government repatriated them back during the peak of COVID-19 pandemic in Ethiopia.

Ayiik Mabior Ayiik, information secretary for the union of South Sudan students in Ethiopia said some schools started classes on the 26th last week while others are expected to resume early in January.

“We are calling upon the two Ministries of Higher Education and Finance to release the money for us to reach our lectures in time. Today (25th), some students are supposed to be at school, others on 28th and the rest are expected to report on the 8th and 11th of next month,” Ayiik said in an exclusive interview with Juba Monitor on Friday.

He said the Ministry of Higher Education and the Ministry of Finance repeatedly promised to provide the funds but to no avail for the last three and half months.

He said each student needs 600 USD, 50 USD and 75 US dollars for air ticket fare, for students with expired resident permits and COVID-19 free-certificate respectively.

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