South Sudan to reopen schools in October

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JUBA, SOUTH SUDAN - JULY 18: Students attend classes at the Ephatha Primary school July 18, 2012 in Juba, South Sudan. South Sudan recently celebrated it's first anniversary of independence from Sudan. Repeated conflict with North Sudan, corruption scandals and economic difficulties have plagued the new country over the past year. Further problems caused by the shutdown of its oil production have led to a sharp decline in its currency and a rise in the price of food and fuel. (Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)
JUBA, SOUTH SUDAN – JULY 18: Students attend classes at the Ephatha Primary school July 18, 2012 in Juba, South Sudan. (Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)

South Sudan said on Tuesday that a partial reopening of learning institutions will commence in October amid declining COVID-19 positive cases.

Awut Deng Achuil, minister for general education said the first phase of reopening that kicks off on October 5 will involve only 75,000 pupils in primary 8 and 35,000 students in senior 4 across the country’s ten states.

“I am pleased to announce that the Ministry of General Education and Instruction has decided to adopt a phased reopening of schools,” Achuil said in a statement issued in Juba.

She said the partial school reopening for the candidates’ classes will enable them to complete the 2019/2020 academic year.

Achuil said the decision to reopen schools was in line with an appeal by the council of ministers as the threat of COVID-19 infections reduced drastically.

She said primary 8 candidates will sit for their final examination in early February 2021 while senior 4 candidates will sit for their final exams in the third week of March.

“I call on all my daughters and sons in primary 8 and senior 4 to take this opportunity to go to school and prepare for their final examinations in February and March 2021, respectively,” said Achuil.

“Schools during this time will adhere to COVID-19 protocols such as social and physical distancing and washing hands with soap,” she added.

The minister said that learning at kindergartens, nursery, primary and high schools remained suspended until April 5, 2021, when the new academic year is slated to begin.

“I know we are resuming school under difficult circumstances, but if we work together, we will overcome this challenge,” said Achuil.

South Sudan has recorded 2,704 COVID-19 positive cases with 1,438 recoveries and 49 deaths as of Monday.

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