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South Sudan’s best student in Uganda lacks fees


February 28, 2017 (KAMPALA) – It’s a bright Monday morning and as students went shopping for school, John Atem Aguer, Uganda’s best student in the 2016 ordinary level exams, is home.

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John Atem Aguer (Photo by John Pen)

Aguer, a South Sudanese refugee in Uganda, scored aggregate 8 in eight subjects, thus obtaining the maximum scores a candidate is expected to get.

The former student of St. Mary’s Secondary School, Kitende, who can no longer proceed for advanced level education due to lack of fees, now buys simple electronics for a workshop he runs at home.

Aguer’s mother, Elizabeth Achol Makuach, describes his son as a genius, who always took his education very seriously from childhood.

“We could not believe it. I did not know my son would even make it due to the stress he went through from lack or delay of school fees, and then that thing of his,” said Achol, pointing to Aguer’s workshop.

The boy, his mother said, spent most of his home time working on his small gadgets, inventing things she could not even understand.

She said that the teenager grabs any gadget around and begins working on it and that she has to hide her mobile phones at times because her son ought to allocate some good times for his books.

Aguer’s father, Jacob Aguer Atem, is an officer in the peace monitoring unit of the South Sudanese Army (SPLA), assigned to assist the peace keeping force in Wau, a town in Bahr el-Ghazal region.

The ongoing civil war in the country has, however, seen a collapse in the economy, making it hard for Aguer’s father to fend for his family.

Sadly, many South Sudanese families are facing the same situation.

For his advanced level education, Aguer intends to study Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics as well as Information Technology (IT).

This combination, he says, will open him gates to enter any university.

I intend to study Theoretical Physics, Mathematics or Computer Science at the university, he says, stressing his dream of becoming a researcher, computer engineer or a software developer.

But Aguer’s dream could be fading away as he cannot even afford to pay for his admission letter for advanced level education at either Light Academy or St. Mary’s Secondary School, where he sat exams.

Hope, to the 17-year old, should always be kept alive and success, to the 17-year old, comes as no surprise. In 2012, Aguer scored aggregate six, having sat for primary leaving examinations at Kingsway primary school while in primary five.

He is now appealing to any good Samaritan to assist him and ensure he successfully completes his advanced level education in Uganda.

Born in Nimule, a South Sudan-Uganda border town at the heart of the Sudan civil war in 1999, Aguer presently lives in Uganda as a refugee. He is, however, optimistic the war in his country will come to and end.

Meanwhile, Aguer can be reached on +256 783 715 222 for any form of assistance.


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  • 1 March 2017 07:57, by Midit Mitot

    What is a meaning of this such a history? Yes the Boy is so clever and very honest, but what make him not to sit for exam while his father is a cash looter in the army? nonsense! anyway, GOD will open your way young Boy.

    repondre message

    • 1 March 2017 12:59, by jubaone

      Just imagine if all these jienge benydits and bandits had not stolen all the money, South Sudan would have some funds for such talented youth who would get full scholarship.

      repondre message

      • 2 March 2017 07:49, by Joyuma John

        There is no logic in your comment here, otherwise it is full with kitchen simple politics that you always put across on this web site, if father of the boy has looted money as you have put it, I hope he would have paid the school fees for his dear son, building untrue statements for the failures of some people in government and blaming at expense of Jienge will never bring any change.

        repondre message

    • 26 November 2017 13:33, by sirking79

      including reasonable comments here... The Coconut Oil Secret

      repondre message

    • 1 March 2017 09:56, by South South


      Please put Aguer’s contact out so that people can contact him privately.

      repondre message

  • 1 March 2017 17:36, by Mr Observer

    Have some shame sometimes my people.

    I am happy for your performance but the lobbying lacks some logics. You claim to be poor and in need of tuitions when you have the money to rent an amara (flat) in kampala! where’s the priority here? Good housing or Education? Sorry.
    St. Mary school is an expensive school my dear but there are cheaper and better schools in Uganda and I advise you choose to join in one. St. Mary’s ugx.1.5 million per term can guarantee a whole year in one of the better but cheaper schools around.
    If you are genius you will always do it whatever the school is or go to the real refugee camps, UNHCR and windle trust are offering bursaries for students like.
    Last advice is please refuse any looted monies from fellow citizens to add upto your fees ......it haunts

    repondre message

  • 1 March 2017 21:21, by dinkdong

    With a smartphone . . .?

    repondre message

  • 2 March 2017 22:14, by jur_likang_a_ likan’g

    He can come back to tend his father’s cattle.

    repondre message

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