JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) --
South Sudan said on Monday it will
prioritize investing more in higher education to achieve
quality standards and competitiveness in a bid to help
transform its human resource and economy.
Yien Oral Lam Tut, minister of higher education, said
that they will invest and support the five public
universities and collaborate with private universities
to strengthen quality education, hence making it
attractive for the brilliant South Sudanese who often
pursue education on scholarships outside the country.
“Higher education should be getting a total of 5 percent
of the national budget annually. This is going to
improve with the coming of peace since the service
sector like education has not been fully funded due to
conflict and economic hardship,” he told journalists in
Oil-dependent South Sudan passed 2018/19 budget of 600
million U.S. dollars of which the service sector,
including education, roads and capital development, were
not given much priority due to the urge to end the over
four years conflict.
Tut disclosed that falling standards and quality in
higher education are due to the country losing some of
its bright students and human resource to outside
countries in pursuit of quality education and jobs,
hence the need to invest more in the sector.
“The very qualified students are going outside the
country due to availability of scholarships which
affects quality in our education, but we need to retain
these students to maintain standards,” said Tut.
The five public universities include University of Juba,
Rumbek, and Bahr El Ghazal, John Garang University of
Science and Technology and University of Upper Nile.
South Sudanese students have benefited from scholarships
offered by China, which are aimed at improving the
technical capacity of the youngest nation which has been
bedeviled by conflict since winning independence from
Sudan in 2011.
Michael Lopuke, undersecretary in the ministry of
general education, said the education is positively
improving due to the fact they have managed to set up
national curriculum with support from China.
“We no longer rely on foreign curriculum from Sudan,
Uganda and Kenya. What we are using now is South Sudan
curriculum. This will assure us of stable foundation in
education,” he said.
China recently helped develop books with South Sudan
curriculum and has also been equipping officials and
teachers with expertise in the education field.
“For the first time we shall be able to launch books
that are based on South Sudan curriculum,” said Lopuke.