National, News

School land saga spikes more fire

By William Madouk


A row pitting the National Ministry of General Education and Instructions against Central Equatoria State minister of Education has flared more barbs.

Mr. Cirisio Zakaria Lado, who hold the threat at one end of the drama is far from being at liberty. National Minister of General Education and Instructions, Awut Deng Acuil on the other side, releases more evidences against the former.

As the duo are locked in blame game, each side asserts having legitimate proof for defence. However, the public guessing who tells the truth in the controversial sale and privatization of school public land.

Acting Undersecretary in the national ministry of Education, David Lowela Ladu has added weight in accusing Mr. Cirisio of selling or leasing out land of several government schools.

“The state minister of Education in CES stated in his press statement dated 21/6/2024 said that there was no, any school land sold or leased to business person, private companies or individuals,” Ladu recalled.

Discrediting the state minister, the undersecretary claims there are documents to show that several government schools’ land has been sold or leased.

“The reality is that some government schools’ land are sold or leased to some business persons, private companies and individuals,” Ladu said as he encounters Cirisio’s claims.

“There are documents that indicate that some school land had been sold or lease,” he insisted.

However, the undersecretary did not identify schools that were sold out nor did he disclose to the media the number of public schools that were sold off, when and to who? But he maintained that they possess ‘transfer of ownership documents.’

According to national ministry of Education, about thirteen schools are being put on investments. These include Juba Commercial Scondary, Malakia, Juba one boys/Girls, Supiri, Mahad, Juba Day and Libya primary school among others.

It all started when the national minister of Education, Awut Deng Acuil who was on touring during Eid Al-adha, and she discovered that part of Supiri Secondary School was given to some investors.

Ms. Acuil, while speaking to the media said her docket is going to take legal action against the minister, Mr. Cirisio.

In a rebuttal, the embattling CES minister of Education denied selling off any public-school lands, but conceded that part of Supiri Secondary School is on lease for period of 25 years.

Meanwhile, on May, the council of ministers approved a memo to dislodge individuals illegally occupying public-school lands.

Based on a copy of the memo that No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper obtained, state authorities across the country are prohibited from selling or leasing public land, failure to do so could attract legal action.

Clause ‘d’ of memo reads “prohibiting state and local authorities in the Republic of South Sudan from selling or leasing public lands and subjecting them t the full force of the law for any violation.”

The memo date May 29, 2024, approve demolition of illegally constructed building and reclaiming of school land the national ministry of General Education and Instructions.

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