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South Sudan education report justifies closure of "woeful" private institutions

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August 14, 2012 (JUBA) - A new government report seen by Sudan Tribune has criticised the quality of privately owned higher learning institutions in South Sudan, two months after 22 schools were closed by the ministry of education for low standards.

The report, jointly written by an educational task force from the ministries of higher and general education, thoroughly exposed “the rough, wrongful and woeful situation which some of the private schools are operating”.

The task force visited all private schools in the young nation "to verify their registration status in accordance with the national rules and regulations that guide opening of private schools”, the report says.

Officials at the two ministries say copies of the report have already been presented to the proprietors of private schools.

Joseph Ukel, Minister of General Education mocked the requirements and stated that the report threw away the general assumption that private schools, especially in Africa, are the best places to study.

"This assumption was proven wrong, as this report by the Ministry exposed the poor status and bad system adopted by some of them, leading to their closure."

Minister Ukel further explained that in a situational analysis as regarding their findings, it was discovered that some of the private schools proprietors, especially those that are closed, illegally opened and reopened in another location using the same licence to operate.

The report found that many private schools operated in buildings that were dangerously overcrowded and were close to noisy places – workshops, markets, waterlogged premises, churches, verandas/corridors unfinished buildings among other places.

More than one school would sometimes operate from the same building adding to the overcrowding.

The closure of the schools two months ago was justified he said due to their lack of classrooms and space; limited number of qualified teachers; poor sanitation and school management; salary issues and unsafe structure among other conditions.

Some schools had been constructed with mud blocks under leaking roofs in private and hidden locations, which could expose children to the risk of sexual harassment, disaster or emergency outbreaks like fire, and dangerous reptiles.

The task force pointed out that proprietors have capitalised on the high demand for education in South Sudan.

Less than 30% of South Sudan’s population is literate, a legacy of decades of civil war and underinvestment while the region was ruled by Khartoum. Since a peace deal in 2005, South Sudan has governed itself and became independent last year. However, the government has struggled to create efficient institutions and provide adequate services.

The report was presented to member of the National Assembly, officials and students at the Ministry of General Education in Juba on Tuesday. The closure of the private institutions brought a mixed reaction from students.

Some were please that low standard places of learning had been closed, while others said that government should not close private institutions until state-run education has the capacity to accept the students who now have nowhere to study.

(ST)

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  • 16 August 2012 04:57, by Kurnyel

    I do agree because of Ugandas looting the young nation

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    • 16 August 2012 08:10, by Jeti

      What a wrong move by Mr. Joseph Ukel of the ministry of general education by closing down the best schools in the country! Government institutions like University of Juba is the worst when coming to education delivered.
      What a woeful ministry!

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      • 16 August 2012 09:08, by Malou Manyiel

        Our gov’t also should Prioritize home universities than depending on neighbouring countries. I wish them one day to come here and see how much money we are investing in foreign universities. As one of those studying in neighbouring country, am not happy at all. The money we are paying here should have done a lot to improve our system of education if we were studying at home.

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      • 16 August 2012 11:30, by felix murye

        The move to close the incapable private universities is a good idea because these universities are not to the standard hence resulting to incapable leaders.

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    • 16 August 2012 08:55, by Malou Manyiel

      When one look at this report carefully, you will find that the decision taken by education minister was a right move in the right direction at the right place. Should these private universities been allowed to operate, the victims are students themselves. Quality matters a lot than quantity. The gov’t should place students who were studying in these universities to public universities.

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    • 16 August 2012 15:22, by Gen.Quack

      IT,S BOUR WHO HAVE THE POLICY OF CLOSING UNIVERSITY BUT THE WILL SEE WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THEM

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  • 16 August 2012 04:57, by Kurnyel

    I do agree because of Ugandas looting the young nation

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  • 16 August 2012 05:18, by Gabriel KK

    South Sudanese are all entitle to quality education not quantity education. The closure of those institutions was a right move and our Govt should start admitting those students into Govt Universities. There are alot of colleges in east African countries but not all of them are recognise when looking for a job or further studies, the same must be applied here in South Sudan.

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    • 16 August 2012 08:29, by Ahmado

      kurnyal(arab)those who study in these institution they are from families not like you being manipulated by Arabs. during civil war we have been studying under the trees and now even we can compete with them and even we are better than them. where ar the universities talk of them all south sudan students are on street deserted in the country.only dinkas know how to loot money 4b(75 officials

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      • 16 August 2012 08:51, by Fuckequatera

        To madd ahmado.ur hatred toward Dinkas as a tribe will one day resuited to geneoide in S.Sudan and i know you Equateras will regret of preaching hatred always.Awir jana saramotha of Lubas mafi.wait is just a matta of tym enough is enough.Action speak louder than word.If equateras want a bullet than we will be ready for it to teach you a lesson.Nhowdor/Nyamnyam

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      • 16 August 2012 09:08, by Bush man

        This misleading term will not take South Sudan up the lader of education ’’ we need Quality not Quantity’’ This is being use by those who have their children studying out side the country. Where do you get quality if you don’t have quantity. You can only screen quantity for you to get quality.The minister of higher education is mentally disturbed, there will be no quality education under him.

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  • 16 August 2012 09:30, by South Sudanese

    "The closure of the schools two months ago was justified he said due to their lack of classrooms and space; limited number of qualified teachers; poor sanitation and school management; salary issues and unsafe structure among other conditions." Which one of these "woeful" conditions doesn’t apply to Juba University or any of the other public universities in South Sudan?

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  • 16 August 2012 19:09, by Mapuor

    Broken knife is better than nothing,its extremely ridiculous to hear those subjectivists and formalists talking of conducive environment for education when they themselves are the liability,refer to Undu report.How much money was squandered away by the ministry of education in 2007

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  • 16 August 2012 21:02, by Guandong

    Adwok is wrong to consider private un. illigall, if so what about closure n dismissal of some students in juba un? I fear like there will no scholl for coming yr if Adwok has not to be removed.

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  • 20 August 2012 21:02, by Lasu lo Denis

    Good to close but where is the alternative to it. What we consider to be government universities is just compared to a primary school in other countries. why dont you improve the conditions of the so called government universities under your hand before claiming to compare this new nation institution to book standards adopted from uk or America. if you can not admit students since july 11 upto now

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