April 05, 2017 (JUBA) - South Sudan education top official told parents whose children are stranded in the embassy in Harare, Zimbabwe, to raise money to transport them to the country.
- South Sudanese students at their embassy in Kampala, Uganda (ST/File)
The undersecretary in the ministry of higher education, Prof. Bol Deng, said government lacked money to pay for the 37 students who have been occupying South Sudan’s embassy in Harare for days after discontinuation from various universities in the country.
“Now we are asking the parents, if they get some money, let them buy tickets to their sons and bring him back, (home to South Sudan),” Deng told Eye Radio Wednesday.
The undersecretary further explained that the government has not money to cover the cost, estimated at $1.7 for the 150 students studying in different institutions in the Southern African country.
At least 37 students, mostly studying medicine and other medical course, camped at the South Sudanese embassy in Harare last week after being dismissed due to lack of tuition payment for a period of two years. However, 113 students, studying social sciences and law, have been allowed to continue by the Zimbabwean universities, but their future remain uncertain due Juba failure to pay tuition fees.
The students, currently camping up at their embassy in Harare sent messages through social media to their parents in South Sudan, detailing the lack of food, clean drinking water, among others.
“We have been pleading our government to clear our fees for the last three semesters but nothing has materialized. Our documents were approved by His Excellency the President Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit but the ministry of finance and the central bank have seated on our papers. We urge His Excellency the President to instruct the minister of finance and the director of central bank,” Ador Jalang, a student of chemical engineering at Harare Institute of Technology, said in an email to Sudan Tribune on Wednesday.
He said a total of 148 students from the University of Zimbabwe, Chinoyi University, Harare Institute of Technology, National University of Science and Technology, Great Zimbabwe University and Midland State University were among those affected by the problem.
The President of the students union, Moses Kat Monyjok, said they need help, urging South Sudan government to fulfill its obligations.
“If that is the case (for students to return to South Sudan) it is unfortunate because we are in third year and some of us are on (study) attachment. If we are told to go back what do you think the students are going to do at home,” said Monyjok.
“Our parents cannot take our responsibility because when we came we did sign on papers and the government stated that they will cater for all; for our fees and they will also be responsible for our tickets when we get back,” he was quoted saying on Wednesday.