Oct 19, 2020(Nyamilepedia) — South Sudan’s Upper Nile University, which has been at a lockdown for almost seven month due to coronavirus, has announced to reopen for studies starting from Novemeber 2nd, 2020.
Speaking to the media, the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Marial Awou, said the admission office has begin admission and registration process of the students.
Prof. Awou said the registration has began with the final classes of the institution’s ten faculties.
“Registration process is now ongoing for all final classes from all faculties. We have ten faculties. And the number of the final year students is between 500 to 700. The lectures will start on 2nd November,” Prof. Marial Awou said.
Marial reiterated that the school is reopening in phases based on the institution’s priority list.
“Because of Covid-19, we had to start with the few classes we can afford. That is why we say we have to reopen gradually. Gradually means every time we get something; we will call the next group. And probably the next group is the first year,” Awou added.
The Vice-Chancellor also revealed that the part of the reason for gradual reopening of the universities is due to lack of COVID-19 preventive equipment, adding that the institutions have submitted their budgets to the cabinet; however, they are not yet tabled or reviewed.
“Covid-19 needs a lot of requirements for prevention. And those requirements need lots of money. So, through the ministry of higher education, we have already made submissions to the government for all the five public universities. But unfortunately, it was not tabled for the approval by the cabinet on Friday.” He added.
The plans to reopen the universities is highly welcomed by the students who want to resume learning; however, many students are worried of their fates as the universities demand school fees and other requirement at forefront.
“As the student body, we welcomed the reopening, but we rejected some conditions in the process of reopening. If they call the finalists now, and later the other group, it will create differences and gaps in classes. Again, tuition fees have been increased, but they do not want to disclose to us. To add, finalists are required to come with sanitizers, facemasks, and an extra 10, 000 SSP for Covid-19. What for?” Said Atem Barach Atem the university’s students’ union chair.
Other universities including the University of Juba have made similar preconditions before reopening which led to a mini protest that has been deescalated by the security forces.
The South Sudanese universities were closed down in April this year as part of the measures to curve COVID-19.