November 11, 2014 (BOR) – Primary eight candidates across South Sudan’s Jonglei state began their entrance exams for secondary school on Tuesday.
Students will be able to sit their exams in 14 centres opened by the state ministry for education in government and rebel-controlled areas, as well refugee camps in neighbouring countries.
Jonglei state’s secretary for examinations, Kuer Dau, said 1,108 pupils were due to sit their exams across the region.
Among those sitting their exams are pupils in Uganda’s Ayilo and Nyamazi refugee camps.
Centres were also opened in Pochalla and Bor, as well in the rebel-controlled Akobo and Fangak, where UNICEF was distributing exam papers to pupils.
However, it remains unclear where the other centres are located.
It’s the second time the latest round of pupils have sat their final exams to enter secondary school, as their exam papers were destroyed before marking after the country erupted in violence in mid-December.
Dau said he had high hopes for the students.
“I hope that they can do very well. This is our hope as the state,” said Dau.
State minister for education Tut Kuony, who recently returned from Juba where he attended an education review organised at the national level, to address gaps in the system and complaints over low pay and allowances.
He said teacher salaries was among the issues raised at the meeting.
“The national committee would review teachers’ salaries, including their allowances with the public service and the finance,” he said.
It is now approaching the fourth week since teachers went on strike, demanding 100 per cent housing allowances, however very little consensus has so far been reached through dialogue with the state government.
Some primary teachers attended exam centres prior to the start of exams to organise the classes and the sitting order of pupils according to their indexes.
“Last year they (pupils) did not sit examinations because of the crisis of 15 December and this year we decided to give them exams. The government is aware and is very much concerned about education. We always talk to teachers, parents and pupils to come to schools,” said the minister of information and communications in Bor.