Home | News    Saturday 27 March 2010

GoSS to halt student financial support in Egypt over performance issues

March 26, 2010 (CAIRO) — The government of southern Sudan (GoSS) intends to stop financial support to forty- one students from the semi-autonomous region studying in public Egyptian universities allegedly for low performance.

The decision announced on Thursday prompted affected students to demand an in-depth explanation from South Sudan liaison office in the Egyptian capital.

According to Atem Kuir Jok, the undersecretary at the regional ministry of education, science and technology, irate students forcefully entered the office last week and closed it down severing connections with officials there for a day.

Jok said that this decision has been kept under tight wraps although he could not speculate on how it became known.

"We do not know how they learned it, who leaked to them and why they are attacking officials there," he posed.

However, Jok said that GoSS is preparing to send a team to assess the situation following the attack on their office.

"We will soon send a team of educationists from our ministry and representatives from the ministry of regional cooperation to go and find out what exactly happened" he said.

"If it is because of low performance at their universities, the team will examine their records and see how to best settle this issue," he further said.

Egypt offered scholarships to some 300 students from south Sudan in 2007-2008, as part of a deal reached by the two governments in educational support for south Sudan.

But student sources at the universities have often complained about performance of some of their colleagues revealing that some have been failing their classes since the admission year but were still allowed back in by university administration hoping they would improve their performance.

This prompted Egyptians government based on these reports to stop paying tuition and accommodation fees.

Each of the 300 students admitted to universities of Alexandria, Moesia among others receive tuition fees amounting $53 to cover food and accommodation expenses throughout the year while their performance is monitored.

Jok earlier said received that they reports that 41 students have been failing their courses from the very-beginning without any improvement.

"This is what caused the Egyptian government to withdraw their support for 41 students as a result of their low performance," he said.

Apart from Cairo’s support, the government of southern Sudan also provides a monthly support of $100 to each student studying in Egyptian universities to cover miscellaneous expenses during their holidays inside Egypt.

This money is however not given to students who travel to Sudan during holiday. Asked about the position of his government, he said position of the ministry is that they will no longer support students who have failed.

"If students fail repeatedly without showing improvement through evaluation tests, we at the ministry education, science and technology should not pay for these students but if students improve, we will not run away from supporting them," he said.

(ST)