The Minister of Higher Education has voiced concerns of what appears to be a major admission scam in all the public universities across the country.
Yien Oral revealed that the administration of the University of Juba, the University of Rumbek, Dr. John Garang Memorial University, the Universities of Upper Nile and of Bahr el Ghazal receive forged certificates from people intending on enrolling -each academic year.
He said that students with fake certificates, and even with marks lower than the cutoff, were admitted into certain colleges.
“This has been our main concern in the ministry…we receive significant amount of forged certificates -especially the high school certificates,” Oral said during the 9th ordinary meeting of the National Examination Council on Tuesday in Juba.
Mr. Oral added that there were quite a number of colleges where students were admitted despite having forged papers.
“We debated a lot, the dominant one was the upgrading of diploma courses -especially for the health guidance [because] some of them find their way without basic certificates,” he said.
The minister could not reveal whether there are people who have been ‘busted’ while submitting such papers at the universities.
Last year, over 10,000 candidates competed for 9,500 slots available in the 5 public universities.
South Sudan offers free education at all levels. University students are charged a small fee such as for registration, while the government pays for the tuition.
Speaking at the same occassion, the Minister of General Education, Deng Deng Hoc, who was taken aback by Mr. Oral’s revelation said he was “very much surprised to hear about it,” noting that the primary leaving certificates are printed in the United Kingdom.
“How many South Sudanese can go to East Bourne in England, and print the certificate there and bring it here?” Hoc asked.
He believe its nearly impossible to forge the South Sudan’s Primary Leaving Examination Certificate.
“The fake certificates will not have features and the many [other] security [lineaments] which is not just the watermark,” he said.
Deng Hoc however warned that those found to be submitting fake certificates, will be punished by the law.
“Any matter related to forgery of certificates is referred to the police,” he concluded.
The two ministers fell short to mention if the candidates who benefited from the alleged scam are identified, the university will ask the colleges to cancel the admission.
According to the South Sudan Penal Code, whoever commits forgery intending that the document forged shall be used for the purpose of cheating, commits an offence, and upon conviction, shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years and may also be liable to a fine.
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