Juba, Addis Ababa ink MOU to strengthen education  

By Mary Poni

South Sudan minister of higher education and his counterpart from the Federal Republic of Ethiopia have signed a memorandum of understanding, in the field of education in Juba as a bilateral cooperation to strengthen education system in the country.

The MOU and the bilateral cooperation were signed yesterday (Tuesday) in Juba witnessed by the ambassador of Ethiopia to South Sudan, the two ministers of education from Ethiopia and South Sudan and other dignitaries.

South Sudan minister of higher education, science and technology Gabriel Changson Chang said Ethiopia has been supporting South Sudan in educational field and has been giving South Sudanese scholarships all these years for both undergraduate and postgraduate including technical education.

He stated that not only in the field of education, Ethiopia has been a true supportive sisterly country to the young nation which recently made eleven years in terms of the war deliberation, accepting refugees and so many other good deeds.

“We are now embarking on developing the relationship further in the field of education” said higher minister Gabriel Changson during the signing of the MOU.

The memorandum of understanding was all about cooperation agreement covering numbers of issues which includes the updated numbers of scholarship to be given to South Sudanese by the government of Ethiopia.

According to the minister Changson, the number has been upgraded to one hundred and fifty for both undergraduates and postgraduate and the break down will be done by the ministry to various fields of sciences and social sciences.

Additionally, Ethiopia as well offers sixty scholarships on technical education at a degree level totaling to two hundred and ten.

He said it is a beginning of a bigger cooperation in the field of education and the numbers maybe by next year will double or increase by so many opportunities when the ministry of education of Ethiopia restructures its support to its neighboring countries in the region.

“We also agreed on the twinship of universities since Ethiopia has about 50 universities and we have only about 6 public universities” he said.

Changson encouraged the South Sudan universities to embrace twinship partnership with Ethiopian universities in order to enable them have exchange programs between the universities teaching stuff and students.

The MOU called for engagement in joint researches that are intended to solving problem of the two countries in terms of health, economics including other technical aspects of improving industrial based performance in various field.

“Since Ethiopia is well ahead of South Sudan, South Sudanese will surely benefit from those outlined benefits and we also agreed that we will determine what support we need from the Ethiopian government in terms of university teaching staffs because we still have a lot of gaps that needs to be sealed and I think Ethiopia can meet those gaps” Changson Chang stated.

He said they will sit as a ministry to determine the kind of teaching staff the country require for the public universities and the technical colleges that are coming up as well as the ministry of higher education is in need of some graphical training to manage the institution.

“We will be offered some training courses on building capacity programs for the staffs in the ministry including the staffs in all the public universities and the gaps we were talking about especially in the University of Bahr el Ghazal in the faculty of medicine.” He underscored.

Meanwhile, the Ethiopian minister of education, Prof. Berhanu Nega said that they (Ethiopians) arepeople who share issues within themselves saying he hopes and compromise that they will have a better cooperation that way than when they listen to others who are not directly sharing facts.

He said the agreement signed was the beginning of much broader cooperation and they will form a technical forum as quickly as possible to explore to the other fields of cooperation other than just scholarships.

“We will be open minded, strength forward and we hope to see a much broader cooperation with South Sudan” he said.

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