July 11, 2012 (BOR) – Students of Malek Secondary School in Bor, the capital of Jonglei state, on Tuesday peacefully demonstrated against the planned change of the school’s name
The state minister of education, Par Kuol, on Wednesday responded by saying “Administrative issues are not their responsibility.”
The minister said Malek Secondary School is now merged with Bor Complex School and will be administered by a head teacher and deputies, following a decision taken by the Jonglei state council of ministers. He did not specify when the resolution was made.
The student representative, Sam Manyang, said Malek is “a historical name” and should not be dropped.
The students delivered a letter to the State Assembly on Tuesday demanding that the council resolution be overturned.
Malek, which is 19km south of Bor, was established in 1905 by Christian missionaries. The school was built in the 1970s and named after the Malek region. The name was changed to Midini to commemorate a north Sudanese soldier who was killed in Bor during the Sudanese civil war which raged from 1983-2005. When the war was ended with the signing of a peace deal in 2005 the school was renamed Bor Complex by the Jonglei state government. In 2006, a group of South Sudanese school leavers from East Africa restored the name Malek.
According to Kuol, the students are “being agitated by some people” who he did not name. He also denied the historical link between the school and the region.
The students also expressed their concern that Bor Complex is an Arabic-based school and that the combining of the schools may create a language barrier which would impinge on their educations.
In June a similar incident in Lakes state lead the state minister of information and communication, Charles Badiri Mayen to issue an official statement denying claims that Riak-dor School would have its name changed to “Rumbek Town Secondary School” to accommodate a merger programme.