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عربي

Thousands of South Sudanese studying in Uganda struggle to pay fees

Bonifacio Taban
South Sudanese students in Kampala are facing renewed hardships following the outbreak of violence in their homeland, student leaders say.
16.09.2014  |  Kampala
Lual Jiel Magok, Vice President of the South Sudanese Students Union in Uganda, Kampala, September 7.
Lual Jiel Magok, Vice President of the South Sudanese Students Union in Uganda, Kampala, September 7.

The South Sudanese Students Union in Uganda welcomed a donation of USD 150,000 from President Salva Kiir. They say they the money will enable their organisation to run its activities and support students who dropped out of school amid the ongoing conflict underway across parts of South Sudan over the past nine months.

South Sudanese student leaders in Kampala say many students are struggling to continue their education and owe large amounts of fees to various higher education institutions.

We have a big number of South Sudanese who are evicted from universities because of lack of tuition fees.”
Lual Jiel Magok
Lual Jiel Magok, Vice President of the South Sudanese Students Union in Uganda says financial problems are widespread among the thousands of South Sudanese studying at Ugandan universities and colleges.

We have a big number of South Sudanese who are evicted from universities because of lack of tuition fees. We would be able to give at least sixty percent of this (donated) amount to the students, to top up their tuition fees,” Magok says. It is our mandate to help them out even if there is no money from the government or no money from anywhere.”

He added it was the union’s task to help reduce the hurdles facing students whose parents were displaced by war in South Sudan.

Before the outbreak of violence in the country late last year, President Kiir pledged USD 200,000 to support South Sudanese students in Uganda. Some USD 50,000 were released to the students’ union.

It is not a duty of the Republic of South Sudan to send students to Uganda for education.”
Ateny Wek Ateny
But the Presidential spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny stressed that the money is not meant to cover students’ tuition fees on a regular basis. The students are studying on their own. It is not a duty of the Republic of South Sudan to send students to Uganda for education. There are universities in South Sudan,” he said. This token the president has given in support of the students who might not be able to pay their final semesters when they are close to graduating.”