Lack of funds delaying payment of students’ arrears: minister
South Sudan’s higher education minister, Yien Oral Lam says lack of funds at the finance ministry contributed to delays by government to pay for students studying in foreign nations.
This comes days after South Sudanese students who completed studies from universities in Zimbabwe complained that the higher education ministry failed to clear outstanding arrears and secure flights for their home return.
However, in an interview with Radio Tamazuj Wednesday, Oral said his ministry is aware of issues affecting those who completed studies.
"Yes, we have information about the complaints from South Sudanese students studying abroad and this is not just for the students in Zimbabwe, but in other countries," he said.
Oral said his ministry is working hard to resolve the students’ woes.
"The delay in paying the dues is due to the Ministry of Finance and we are in contact with them. Once we receive the money, we will send to them [students],” he stressed.
According to the minister, the higher education ministry had informed government about the fate of South Sudan students in Zimbabwe, but was told the finance ministry lacked money for students’ welfare.
On Monday, a group of South Sudanese students said they were stranded in Zimbabwe after alleged failure by the government to clear outstanding arrears and secure flights for their home return.
The students, in an April 8 letter, urged the highest authority of South Sudan government to urgently facilitate the release funds approved by the council of ministers to facilitate students studying abroad.
23 of the 79 South Sudanese studying in Zimbabwe completed in December last year.