Education free and compulsory, says Awut
The National Minister of General Education and Instructions, Awut Deng, said that it is illegal for government schools to charge school fees and that actions would be taken against institutions doing so.
Awut, who spoke during the release of the 2023 Primary Certificate Education results on Wednesday, said if any public school charges learners, they are breaching the presidential order of free education.
She added that free education in South Sudan is a constitutional mandate and is compulsory for citizens.
“It means it’s a violation of the constitution itself,” she said.
“We should resist as parents and guardians [calls to accept] that we have to pay schools to register our children. Education is free and compulsory,” she stressed.
“When the president tells you that this is free and compulsory education for all; nobody is authorised to charge anyone, so it must be free. This is the response to 2.8 million children who are out of school in this country plus the two generations who missed out during the liberation struggle,” Awut explained.
Also, the minister urged the private schools not to charge their tuition fees in dollars but in South Sudan pounds, which is the legal tender of the country.
“It is the same thing that is happening with private schools, where people are demanding parents pay in dollars. Our legal tendency in this country is the South Sudanese pound,” Awut stated.
In February 2023, President Salva Kiir issued a decree ordering the rollout of free and compulsory education at the primary and secondary levels. He directed the ministry of general education to come up with policies that would promote and attract free and compulsory primary and secondary education.