National, News

Uganda scraps Pass fee on South Sudanese

By Mamer Abraham

Uganda government has exempted South Sudanese from paying pupil pass fees levied on foreign students in the country.

South Sudan Ambassador to Uganda, Simon Juach Deng disclosed to No. 1 Citizen Daily Newspaper, on Thursday

Amb. Juach said that South Sudanese students will no longer pay the pupil passes because they are members of the East African Community.

“Any South Sudanese student studying in Uganda should not pay a pupil pass. They will continue to pay their fees, but the pupil pass is no longer a requirement,” Amb Juach explained.

About 10,000 to 20,000 South Sudanese students are studying in Uganda and each individual paid $100 every year on top of the university tuition fees.

According to the Ambassador, before the exemption, Uganda earned about $1,000,000 to $2,000,000 from South Sudanese students, per year.

The Ambassador said he followed the issue with immigration department and the ministry of East African Community Affairs through the ministry of foreign affairs office in Uganda, since May.

At last, on Wednesday, Amb. Juach was notified that Ugandan government had approved South Sudanese students no longer be charged as foreigners but be treated equally with Ugandan nationals.

According to the Ambassador, the move was a sigh of relief to the families and South Sudan from paying a whooping amount of $1,000,000) to $2,000,000, annually.

“It is going to be a big relief to families because they were struggling to get school fees, and in addition, they were also budgeting for this pupil pass, which is now scrapped off,” he continued.

The embassy anticipates negotiating for South Sudanese students to pay similar tuition as Ugandans and other members of the East African Community.

“Some private universities are charging South Sudanese as international students. It is something we are also talking to the ministry of education about so that they are charged like other members of the East African Community who are paying just like locals,” he stressed.

He said the embassy was also negotiating with the Ugandan government to give urban refugees at least six-month to one-year visas instead of only three months, which keeps them travelling outside Uganda to renew their visas.

“But we are saying we need to negotiate something between the immigration of South Sudan and the immigration of Uganda so that we have a mutual agreement for those South Sudanese who are supporting students to be in schools in Uganda; they should be given some special arrangement so that they get a visa at least for six months or one year,” he added.


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