Home | News    Monday 19 September 2011

South Sudan to change student scholarships after education funds stolen

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By Philip Thon Aleu

September 18, 2011 (KAMPALA) – South Sudan’s new minister of higher education said on Saturday during a visit to Uganda that “a lot of changes” will be made to processes of awarding scholarship to students due to lack of transparency and corruption at his ministry.

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Traditional dancers from South Sudan’s Lakes state prepare to entertain guests at the ceremony to welcome South Sudan’s minister for higher education. Sept. 17, 2011 in Kampala (Photo: ST/Philip Thon Aleu)

Responding to requests from students to release of delayed annual support funds minister Peter Adwok Nyaba said a parliamentary inquiry would be launched into the alleged misappropriation of the resources.

Despite acknowledging its shortcoming, speaking at a ceremony in Kampala, the minister lauded the post-war scholarship initiative. Many South Sudanese study at universities around East Africa due to the low quality of education in South, which in July became independent from the North as part of a 2005 peace deal.

The South Sudanese Students Union (SSSU), an umbrella of college and university students in Uganda organised a celebration on Saturday to mark South Sudan becoming Africa’s 54th country.

South Sudan declared independence on 9 July from the rest of Sudan following a landslide vote for secession in January. The plebiscite was part of the 2005 peace accord that ended two decades of North—South war.

Abraham Thon, leader of the SSSU gave a speech at the event complaining that the government of the Republic of South Sudan had delayed providing funds for students. Some students who rely on the support would not be able to begin the academic year Thon said.

“Our students will not complete their courses because there is no money,” Thon said.

He said that students wanted to where the money had gone, claiming it had "disappeared between the ministry of finance and minister of higher education".

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South Sudan minister of higher education Peter Adwok Nyaba (L) holds a gift for President Salva Kiir from Southern Sudanese students in Uganda as deputy head of mission Ador Akok (R) looks on. Kampala. Sept. 17, 2011 (Photo: ST/Philip Thon Aleu)

The student leader also requested that South Sudan’s ministry of education reverse its decision to halt support to students joining universities in the coming 2010/2011 academic year.

Thon said that stopping the funding was contrary to what South Sudan fought for in decades of war with the North.

The higher education minister appealed for time to address the issue pointing out he had only been in office for just over two weeks.

Nyaba said that he would create a more transparent system of awarding of
scholarship and making financial transactions.

"There is going to be a lot of changes in the way scholarship and tuition fees are paid out,” minister Nyaba added.

South Sudan started offering scholarship to students in Egypt, Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda – most of whom took refuge there during the 1983—2005 war that ravaged the country. Students on private scholarships are given annual support funds but the assistance had been delayed this year.

The minister said there is a report before South Sudan parliament suggesting that “corruption” was to blame for funds going missing.

Nyaba revealed that one of official at the ministry of higher education has been sentenced to prison and being asked to pay back $222,996. However the minister did not name the official or provide any further information, moving swiftly on to detail changes that will be made to scholarship awards and student funding.

Illiteracy rates are high among South Sudanese but efforts to upgrade the education system have shown little progress since 2005 when the former rebels, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) began governing South Sudan, as part of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement that led to independence.

South Sudan’s ruling SPLM faces huge challenges in developing the oil-rich country, including educating the citizens.

PRESIDENT KIIR’S DONATION

President Salva Kiir was expected to attend the student event but was said to busy to leave Juba. The students presented a gift to President Kiir in his absence alongside Minister Nyaba and other guests at the ceremony, where officials estimate attendance was around 6,000 people.

Meanwhile, President Kiir donated US dollars 50,000 to the South Sudan Students Union, minister Nyaba, who represented South Sudan’s leader announced in his speech.

(ST)

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  • 19 September 2011 06:18, by Naked Dinka

    It looks like all of the students are from dinka tribe.

    repondre message

  • 19 September 2011 07:58, by Bush

    Some people who are responsible for bringing the money to the students got rich in few months after getting the job because they embezzled most of those dollars, and most of the money are just been given to Dinka (Jenge) students even those who are not in the school or just doing English course were given money, other students were neglected.

    When you come they ask you a lot of questions and you end up getting frustrated as if they are the only students from South Sudan.

    Mr. Minister, you need to be very careful and serious at this time and follow where the money is going exactly and to whom.

    repondre message

    • 19 September 2011 08:18, by George Bol

      Bush,

      You need to name 6 Khoryom and 6 Muormuor battalions and the two well known training areas. If you get them right then we will give you scholarship without and precondition. Thanks

      repondre message

      • 19 September 2011 21:18, by Gueth Bidok

        Goerge Bol

        Every tribe participated in this government. No, No, and No there shouldn’t be any scholarship given to any student outside Southern Sudan otherwise that should applies to any South Sudanese student to reside outside of South. And this include U.S, Canada, Europe and so on. This scholarship thing doesn’t make scense at all and it should be cut off.

        repondre message

  • 19 September 2011 09:59, by mohammed ali

    Even students fund are stolen ! I could imagine that some of could be stolen, but all of it to the extent of stopping aid for students for the whole year, is unbelieveable!

    SPLA thugs are stealing everythings!What state is this!

    I think he should consider paying for students in Sudan. There are thousands and it was free. Shouldn’t continue like this for long!

    repondre message

  • 19 September 2011 10:25, by LOVER OF ORGANISMS

    Dear all,

    As mentioned in this text by the Minister that a culprit in the ministry is to pay back $222,999, I strongly belief that this money was stolen from Egypt program by their then coordinator Mr. Santo Malek Anai who was a new to the former Minister of education Prof. Job.
    In a live eye witness i one time discovered, Mr. Santo collected about $72,563 from the ministry to pay bursaries for Egypt students. There were only 226 students in Egypt under GOSS scholarship who according to the agreement were to get $100 each month. From the $72,563, Mr. Santo paid these students only one month and even claimed shortage of money at the end.
    And because every thing was polished by the word "Uncle" in the ministry, there was no way at all for students’ complains to be comprehended despite the fact that many students’ representatives visited Juba over the live mismanagement.
    Mr. Santo was only crippled when his uncle was kicked off the ministry of Education. He was removed from Egypt coordination and under went serious investigation. Surprisingly, his removal from Egypt led to high academic conformance this year compared to the previous years of deteriorating performance in Egypt scholarship.
    I belief catching them one by one, South Sudan will be free of corruption......

    repondre message

    • 19 September 2011 13:55, by nhomachotdeng

      He the Minister is the most corrupt in higher Education in Khartuom and imported it to Juba.
      Nhomachotdeng

      repondre message

    • 19 September 2011 17:42, by Justin Chicago opiny

      The GOSS is waisting a lot of money on scholarships to East African institutions when the money is suppose to be used in developing the Institutions in the country. These scholarshpis are also given to selected few and dominated by one tribe as if the RSS is born to one particular tribe of the republic of south sudan and again most of the scholarship fund is siphoned by corrupt officials in the ministry of finance. Stop the scholarships and use the money in the country. Students going to higher education should be given loans to repay after completing their studies.

      Free Education should only be from primary to secomdary school period.Most of the students are even studying in private Universities which do not even meet the standard of national universities in those countries.We should avoid to bring home unqualified graduate to further bring down skills highly needed to bring development. Scholarships should be given through minitries because those people are already serving the government. i repeat the money for the scholarships should be used at home to develop our education system

      repondre message

      • 20 September 2011 02:42, by San Manyuon

        I like your positive suggestions. Great

        repondre message

    • 20 September 2011 02:54, by San Manyuon

      I don’t know how concrete this whistle is, if true then i would ask that next time, don’t hesitate to blow the whistle while someone is till holding the post. Make sure information is sited though otherwise u may get in trouble. Of course don’t reveal your identity.

      Way to fight corruption.

      repondre message

  • 20 September 2011 02:37, by San Manyuon

    Guys,
    I don’t know if many of you on this forum are kids or adults. The reason is, when ever we have issue that require our collective ideas, we goes astray to talk about irrelevant issues. Why don’t we concentrate on constructive suggestions, on the topic at hand. I don’t think you guys are any better then those who’re sponsoring that corruption, those who’re making all of us hopeless for this country?
    I am proposing that, please if you have better ideas to mend those broken common laws, and to help our country, let us not talk about different issues then the one presented.

    I think more money then the 220k that the Minister mentioned, fall on the wrong purpose every month.
    My suggestions in lieu of less funding are;
    * Students who’re trying to get scholarship outside the country shouldn’t be awarded any, they should come inside the country first in order to apply from within and also to file their identity. I know the reason for this opinion.
    * Amounts awarded as pocket money should be reduced to minimum if not eliminated altogether.
    * All departments should have trail of every disbursement on file, and that have to be audited by the outside accountant.
    * Students who’re schooling with in the country should be awarded more in order to attract our children back and to strengthen education internally.

    A side from this issue, the ministers travel too much, i believe they don’t appropriate any fund for that purpose, they just take what every they think would cover their purpose from the same educational funding.

    I know you have better ideas, so please voice your opinion.
    Thank all

    repondre message

  • 20 September 2011 03:44, by Cadaai ?o?

    Historian and Identity Advocacy View:

    The problem is simple when there is a really leader. Lack of good leaders always a disaster to many things.

    repondre message

    • 20 September 2011 15:34, by Big Tiger

      It is good to fight corruption when people are ready to do it.If South Sudan President fight corruption he should start with the top officials in the Government.

      It is them who are making corruption very high.I hope when there is good leader thing will change immediatley.

      Problem will come when the big people are taking/looting people things and no one asking them they continue doing it because no accountability done to prove they are corrupted.

      Big Tiger
      man far away from corruption and tribalism

      repondre message

      • 21 September 2011 18:22, by Dut Monybor

        Definitely Bro Big tiger ,President H.E Salva K Mayardit should begin to fight for corruption from above . thank you for commend.

        repondre message

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