Dr. Peter Adwok Nyaba briefing the press at the State house in Juba [©Gurtong]
By Waakhe Simon Wudu
JUBA, 6th October 2011 [Gurtong] - The Government of South Sudan has passed a new development plan with 2 Billion United States Dollars (USD) budget set; for upgrading and face-lifting the status of the Country’s five National Universities.
The adoption came after a one hour discussion by the Council of Ministers in an extraordinary sitting chaired by President Salva Kiir Mayardit.
While briefing the press shortly after the sitting, the Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology Dr. Peter Adwok Nyaba explained that, the development plan will be used to reconstruct and improve the five South Sudanese national universities.
“The government will set aside 1.5 to 2 Billion US dollars over the next five years for the physical reconstruction of these universities to transform them to world class universities,” Adwok told the press.
He said that in the proposed plan, the University of Juba will be shifted to Bilinyang about 20 miles from the current location in Juba, Bar El Ghazal university will be shifted to Agok, Upper Nile university will be relocated to Ubel, Rumbek university to will be relocated to Abina Ajok and Dr. John Garang Memorial university will be relocated to Bor.
“The Council deliberated on the policy paper presented by the Ministry of Higher Education which entails the development of the higher education and its institutions. It is very grateful that the council passed the policy paper,” Adwok added.
Dr. Adwok further explained that the new development plan includes seeking for international loans for the reconstruction of the universities’ respective campuses.
Education in South Sudan still remains in critical challenges. Latest statistics according to the Ministry of General Education indicates that 73% of the country’s population estimated to be 10,000,000 people are illiterate with women leading. This has caused many challenges while seeking skilled labourers to develop the fledgling nation.