By Philip Thon Aleu
September 1, 2009 (BOR) – After 8 months uncertain of academic future, students of Dr. John Garang Institute of science and technology, in Bor, will start reporting to the campus next week, officials say.
“The good news is that the institute is opening on Monday [September 7],” Prof. Aggrey Ayuen Majok told the Sudan Tribune here Tuesday in his office.
At the entrance, a notice addressed to students reads “semester two [for] academic year 2008/2009 begins on Monday September 7, 2009.”
This is the first written official statement confirming that studies are commencing after a number of rumored reopening. The first being the March 22, end of May and likely mid August, 2009 as dates to start lectures. A turning point is now clearly real. The public has being furious that the institution may collapse given the high coverages seen in the media and criticism labelled against the authorities.
The Institute President Prof. Aggrey observed that future challenges will be tackled as they come. He was responding to questions whether other delays like what happened this year are completely averted with the announcement to restart services.
Local writers have criticized governments of Jonglei and south Sudan for letting down the institute in one way or the other. The students on the other hand tried to remain calm but attentive on issues pertaining closer higher institution of learning.
Dr. John Garang de Mabior Institute of Science and Technology in Jonglei capital Bor was established during the regime of former Governor Philip Thon Leek in an agreement with ASCOM Co., a Moldovan oil company operating here.
Governor Kuol Manyang Juuk, following Mr. Leek footsteps, sealed an agreement with Free International University of Moldova (ULIM) in January, 2008 enabling the later to send lecturers to the Institute which started on February 2, 2008. But Prof. Agrey Ayuen Majok, appointed by South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit as vice chancellor, took control of the Institute in February, 2009.
ULIM has being seen as reluctant to open new collaboration terms with Prof. Aggrey’s administration. Since then, the Institute functioning has been snaky – with delays to allocate funds by South Sudan government and lecturers on the other hand.
However, the past is gone, Prof. Aggrey says when asked to comment on the future of the Institute specially the assurance to the public that services will at least runs smoothly and students remaining at classes.
With financial crisis and government policies on the hand, some difficulties are expected to arise.
Other institutions have been named after former rebel leader John Garang in southern Sudan something analysts say are seen as directing counter reacting to the establishment of Bor institute when the budget was excluded for discussion in the regional assembly in Juba in February, 2009.