South Sudan’s government’s Spokesperson, Information Minister Dr Barnaba Marial. [Gurtong/ Waakhe Simon Wudu]
By Waakhe Simon Wudu
JUBA, 26 May 2012 [Gurtong] - Early this month, the Ministry ordered the closure of 22 private universities and colleges operating in the country due to what it termed “unfulfilled requirements that higher institutions of learning should meet”.
The decision was made after the Council of Ministers summoned the Higher Education Minister Dr Peter Adwok Nyaba last Friday.
The meeting was chaired by South Sudan Vice President Dr Riek Machar.
“The Minister issued a detailed report which was endorsed by the Council of Ministers. We resolved that universities and colleges which do not meet the requirements should meet them before being allowed to operate”, the government’s Spokesperson, Information Minister Dr Barnaba Marial told the press.
He said the Council has urged the closed institutions to co-operate with the Ministry of Higher Education to address the matter.
Following the announcement of the mass closures, the South Sudan Association of Private Universities (SSAPU) strongly opposed the decision saying it was not objective as the findings of a Ministerial Committee’s report on higher education did not show evidence that “some students do not possess secondary school certificates that qualify them for higher education”.
There are at least 34 private universities and colleges in South Sudan. According to SSAPU, at least 3,000 students have been enrolled into these campuses with at least 1,000 staffs employed.