Basic school exams begin in Upper Nile
7 February 2012 – Government officials in Upper Nile State today toured some of the state's 40 examination centres where over 11,000 school students in Upper Nile are writing their Basic School Leaving Certificate examinations.
The five-day examinations began on 6 February across the state's 13 counties. For the first time in Upper Nile history, three inmates from Malakal Central Prison also began writing the exams as alternative education pupils.
"I encourage you to work very hard in order to pass the exams," said Upper Nile Deputy Governor Andrea Maya. "The future of this nation is depending on you, and we want you to become great leaders of this new country of the Republic of South Sudan."
Although only 3,648 of the total were female, State Minister of Education, Science and Technology Mojkawn Kak Ajang pointed out that the number of pupils sitting the exam had increased this year.
"The number of the pupils who are sitting for the basic school exams this year is higher in comparison to last year, because we have enrolled returnee pupils (from Sudan) in different schools in the State," said Mr. Ajang.
To meet the different language needs of the students -- Arabic for returnees, English for local students and adult students --, the minister said his ministry had set up three different types of curriculums in the state.
"This year we have three different curriculums -- the curriculum of the old Sudan for the pupils who came from the north, curriculum for the Republic of South Sudan and the curriculum of the alternative education," he said.
Minister Ajang said his ministry was facing a shortage of books and benches and called upon the government to increase the education budget.