JUBA – South Sudan government is under immense pressure from Western education donors to allow children in opposition-controlled areas sit for primary eight examinations, a week after the ministry of education said it was exempting students in opposition controlled areas from examinations over insecurity, according to a statement seen by Sudans Post.
Last week, South Sudan’s minister of General Education and Instruction, Awut Deng Acuil, issued a statement saying an alleged insecurity in SPLM-IO-controlled areas has forced the government in Juba from taking exam saying the educational process was at risk.
“Given this brief backdrop, the South Sudan National Examinations Council and the Ministry of General Education and Instruction have been alerted of possible examination security threats in most of the SPLM-IO bases in parts of Jonglei and Upper Nile State. Case in point is the recent detention of Staff belonging to an agent contracted by the National Ministry of General Education and Instruction to pay teachers’ incentives in Nyiror in Jonglei State,” Deng said in a statement last week.
“Therefore, since I have already raised a red flag over this security concern, and the Primary eight examinations are set to begin in literally four days from today, I am afraid to state that pupils in these locations will have to needlessly miss out on their examinations due to the unresolved security concerns,” she added.
In a statement today, embassies of the United States. United Kingdom, Norway, Canada, Sweden and a delegation of the European Union said they are deeply concerned over the government decision saying no child in the world’s youngest country should be exempted from national exams.
“As donors to the education sector, we affirm the right of every child to access education and remain deeply concerned that children who have worked so hard to prepare for their examinations may miss out. We remain committed to supporting the Revitalised Transitional Government of National Unity to find a swift solution, including through R-ARCSS mechanisms” they said the statement seen by Sudans Post.
“We therefore call upon the Revitalised Government to proceed with urgency, exploring every possible solution, to ensure that all children in Primary 8, regardless of location, are able to begin their exams as planned or as soon as possible. We welcome commitments made to this undertaking,” they added.