The leadership of SPLM-IO has urged the minister of General Education, Hon. Awut Deng Acuil overrules an unprecedented decision stopping standard eight examinations in IO control areas.
According to the General Education schedule, primary eight candidates are expected to sit for the South Sudan national exam next week.
Deng indefinitely issued a statement on Thursday withholding the standard eight exam of reaching IO control areas due to what she described as “insecurity threats” in Jonglei and the Upper Nile state.
In the statement, there was no proper evidence to prove such concerns. The ministry claimed that their staff belonging was previously detained by IO after person assign, send to pay teachers incentive in Nyiror in Jonglei state.
Ministry further reiterated concerns shared with the National Security Service and the police department. All agreed that the exam would not be taken until SPLM-IO gives them proper security assurance.
It is not clear if that can be a reason for adjourning children’s exam when all parties agree to work in one government.
The first vice president spokesperson Puok Kueth Baluong has condemned General education’s decision. He says they are being surprised by “statement that violates the norms and constitutional right of the child access to education.”
Mr. Puok dismissed all insecurity claims naked by the General education. He said the politicized move rights to education of South Sudanese children regardless of who controls the area.
“We think this move is sort of politicking this matter of education, the move or decision is denying pupils to have this of examination.”
UNICEF communication specialist Helene Sandbu Ryeng says her organization is so concerned for primary eight candidates in SPLM-IO control areas if they do not have a site for the exam. She told pupils are well prepared to sit for the exam, and it is their right to complete the course.
Ryeng says UNICEF was supporting the ministry of General Education in sending out exams across the country. And she urged parties to the agreement to find an amicable solution as soon as possible to ensure that children will not miss the exam.
“It is a fundamental principle for UNICEF to acknowledge that education is the right for every child regardless where in the room child is, and that is standing until today.”
The Transitional Constitution of South Sudan, 2011 (as amended) article 29 guarantees every Child a right to education.