Pupils in SPLM-IO areas express excitement over start of exams
Pupils who missed out on last week's Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) in different states of South Sudan due to insecurity have expressed joy as they sat the exams this week.
On February 4, the Minister of General Education and Instruction Awut Deng Acuil announced that the South Sudan National Examinations Council had been alerted of possible examination security threats in most of the SPLM-IO bases in parts of the Jonglei and Upper Nile State.
Following the statement from the minister, education stakeholders across the country expressed concerns over the decision made by the Ministry of General Education and Instruction. A week later, the ministry decided to fix new dates for the conduct of primary eight examinations for the pupils that had missed out on the initial exams.
Speaking to Radio Tamazuj by phone, many pupils said they were delighted when they heard that the minister had reversed her decision to allow them to sit their exams like their counterparts across the country.
Nyagoa Gai is a Primary 8 pupil at Akobo Primary school. She says, "We were unhappy after missing the exam but now we are happy because most of the time we don’t read because there was no exam, now we are happy because they brought it to us.”
Ms. Gai said they sat the Christian Regions Education C.R.E paper on Monday, Science paper on Tuesday, and English exams yesterday.
“My message to the Ministry of General Education is that they should work to secure our future. When we heard we don’t have exams, we were worried but now we are grateful to the Minister, teachers, examiners, and everyone who made it possible for us to sit for the exam,” Nyagoa said.
Regina David, also a pupil in the same school, says, “We are very happy to those who facilitated the exam here in Akobo. We got sad when we were told that we would not sit exams but now we are happy. It is not for me alone, for every student in Akobo they are happy.”
Abak Martha, a primary 8 candidate in Comboni Primary School in Tonj County of Warrap state also affected by the security concerns, expressed her joy.
“In the first two papers, we were not excited and it was challenging but we managed to go through since the questions are from the same books we have been reading. Therefore, I am appealing to the government to encourage girls to enroll in schools," she added.
Meanwhile, the educational officer in Akobo County of Jonglei state, Tung Kuac Koang said that they are happy that the exams arrived on time and started as scheduled.
“We are very excited and happy for what has been done by the Minister of Education, I can say let us work together hand in to support our communities and the people of South Sudan,” Kuac said.
For his part, Emmanuel Chol, a teacher at Comboni Primary school who is at the venue where the examinations are taking place says that the examinations have been really good for the past three days from Monday to Wednesday.
“The people who brought the exam papers cooperated with us and the exams were quite good, at least they are quite similar to the previous ones,” he said.
Chol further urges the government to encourage girl child education because girls fall under the category of the most vulnerable population in South Sudan, saying when they are enrolled in school they can change their lives and the nation.
According to the new dates set by the Ministry, these examinations will run from Monday 15th and will end by Friday 19th February 2021.