Kiir presides over opening of CSE, urges students to embrace education

President Salva Kiir presides over the opening of the country’s secondary school leaving exams | PPU

Presiding over the opening of the country’s secondary school leaving exams, South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir Mayardit, has urged all students to embrace education in the country.

“I am very excited to be with you this morning to ring the bell that symbolizes the beginning of the 2020 Certificate of Secondary Education examinations, and to also wish you, the candidates who are sirting for this important examination the very best of luck. It is also an opportunity for me to sincerely thank the teachers who have worked tirelessly to prepare you for this important milestone.”

Kiir commends the tremendous efforts made by teachers to ensure that students realize their dreams.

“Given the challenges that our country has gone, and still going through, this day may have not arrived without the hard work from the institutions responsible for your education. We are here today because many people have spent countless hours to ensure that you, the candidates, sit for this examination.”

“For the work that has gone through your preparations, I would like to ask all South Sudanese to recognize your teachers, officials in the Ministry of Education, and their able Minister Hon. Awut Deng Acuil, who have worked collectively and tirelessly with all stakeholders to ensure your progress on educational ladder is not obstructed by the challenges facing the country.”

Kiir further praised the students for their outstanding performance despite the challenge they faced in their schools

“I was reliably informed that there are 34,536 candidates who are sitting for this examination. Out of this number there are 11,716 females and 22,820 males. This figure represents an increase of 20.4 % from 2019.”

“While more still needs to be done, this percentage increase is commendable and it did not come out of the blue. It came as the result of hard work from the officials in the Ministry and schools across the country. Again, thank you to the teachers and thank you to the officials in the ministry for this incredible work. With the return of peace, I would like to urge all South Sudanese to embrace the pursuit of education, because our ability to move our country forward lies in its transformative power.”

“Finally, to parents of the candidates who are taking this examination, we thank you for nurturing them, and also share in your joy in seeing them take this vital step in their progress along their educational journey. Continue giving them unconditional love and support in their preparation to be leaders of tomorrow. Once again, I wish all the candidates good health during this examinations period and the very best of luck. Thank you all and may God bless South Sudan.”

The ceremony was held at Juba Day Secondary School, and was attended by several senior government officials in Juba.

Education authorities accused of exam cheating, risk being sued

The Office of Professional Teachers Union-Lakes State has accused authorities at the Ministry of Education of being accomplices in exam cheating and irregularities during the recent Primary Eight Leaving Examinations.

“The office of Professional Teachers Union-Lakes State sends a warmly greeting to the esteemed office of Minister. We appreciated your office for implementing examination calendar after pandemic; we also observed the measures of safety of learners from Covid-19 made by your office. Therefore, the office of professional teachers union in lakes state has totally condemned the leaking out of national exam at national ministry of education,” the group alleged in a statement.

The group called for an independent oversight body to investigate the allegations of exam fraud and hold those involved accountable for their actions.

“Our aim is to promote quality education and the right of teachers, where can quality education be attained when exams are being leaked out? We better celebrate the good performance of one student with self- confident than millions of students who passed exam because of leaked exams.”

“Furthermore PTU requires investigation of examination department in the national ministry of general education and instruction by a competent impartial judge.”

“Quality education mean bringing positive change to learners and given prosperous existence, we should values education and study sincerely to help students grow mentally into a future being from darkness of illiteracy to light of self-confident, self-reliant and better future.”

“We need change in the office of national examination in matter of facts to stop leaking out of national exams, Your nice consideration and understanding will be highly appreciated.”

Education Minister Awut faces backlash after banning exams in rebel-held areas

Minister of Education Awut Deng Acuil bans national exams in opposition-held areas |Photo : File

The Minister of General Education and Instruction, Awut Deng Acuil is facing a public backlash after issuing an unprecedented statement banning students studying in opposition-held areas from participating in the upcoming national exams.

“She (Hon. Awut Deng) will be known in history as Minister of General Education who worked intensively to destroy the future of the Nuer and Shilluk people. Within the current context of the peace agreement She has demonstrated that there is no peace being implemented in the country. Being entrusted with such a big ministry, the reason is to provide equal services/opportunities to all the children in the country,” said Gabriel Gatluak, a member of the opposition.

“Under the Ministry of General Education policy, it’s stated that ever child has a right to education despite being foreigner or native. Culturally, we have been singing women have good hearts and sympathy for the nation, where is this woman coming from! Is she really from Jieng community?,” he added.

On Thursday, Awut banned all areas controlled by the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (IO) from taking national exams.

“Members of the press, Ladies and gentlemen — It is my pleasure to inform the nation that all necessary arrangements have been made for timely commencement of the 2020 Certificate of Primary Education examinations on Monday 8th February 2021,” said Awut Deng Acuil, Minister of General Education and Instruction.

“However, it is important for me to underscore that in this year 2020/2021 examination cycle, a lot of stringent security measures have been devised and put in place to curb malpractices in examinations and to ensure security of the Examinations, Examinees and Examiners.”

“Central in these measures is that any certificate examination that is conducted by the South Sudan National Examinations Council MUST be protected and guarded by both the South Sudan National Police services and National Security. In the absence of both the Police and Security, nothing can guarantee the security and integrity of the examinations and thus such areas shall be regarded as no-exams zones.”

“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.”

“To date, the money is not yet recovered although the agents were later released. These concerns have been shared with both the National Security Service and the Police and it has been resolved that unless a clear assurance is given by the SPLM-IO leadership over the security of examination in these areas, the National Examinations Council will have no other viable options but withhold the examinations in these areas in light of the fact that South Sudan National Security service and Police have no presence in such areas to provide full control and provision of security to Examiners, Examinees and the examinations.”

“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.”