MALAKAL/BOR – South Sudanese students in several opposition-controlled areas of Jonglei and Upper Nile states have began to sit for primary eight certificate examinations, after the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) delivered examinations papers following a request for help from the country’s ministry of general education.
Speaking to Sudans Post this morning, Gatluak Patai, a member of the opposition education office in Akobo, said exams began on Monday morning after UNICEF delivered papers over the weekend saying all the emergency plans put forth by the government to carry out examinations in the opposition-controlled areas were going on smoothly as planned.
“The students have began the examinations today because UNICEF transported and brought the papers this weekend. This is very good and all the plans by the government in Juba are working and by the end of the week we will be able to report back that the exams have taken place smoothly,” he told Sudans Post on phone from Akobo.
In a statement separately, the UNICEF announced that it has helped in the delivery of the exam papers after the government appeal to help as only four days were left when it announced that students in SPLM-IO controlled areas would not be allowed to sit for examination following a government statement that announced exams won’t take place due to security concerns.
“This weekend, UNICEF delivered examination papers to seven counties in South Sudan where exams were postponed. Four days ago, the Ministry of General Education and Instruction (MoGEI) announced that Primary 8 candidates who missed out on their exams last week, would sit their exams starting today Monday, 15 February,” UNICEF wrote on its website.
“The MoGEI asked UNICEF South Sudan to support with the dispatchment of the new examination papers from Juba to Akobo, Ayod, Fangak (old and new), Nyirol, Nasir, Longechuk and Tonj East. With only four days between the announcement and the exams, UNICEF South Sudan put all hands-on deck. Saturday and Sunday, papers for 1,732 students were flown successfully to the named counties together with exam invigilators,” the statement added.
UNICEF representative Andrea Suley said: “This was an important mission for UNICEF as access to education is a right for every child, regardless of location. I’m pleased with UNICEF’s ability to mobilize quickly with partners and deliver the examination papers on time. What remains, is to wish the children best of luck.”
For his part, an education official in Nasir confirmed to Sudans Post that exams have began there.