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Analysis to SoSSA report on the students' issues in Cairo - Egypt:- A Response to alleged corruption in Egypt BY: Michael Mathiang Ngong, EGYPT
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Oct 24, 2009 - 11:49:28 PM

Analysis to SoSSA report on the students' issues in Cairo - Egypt :- A Response to alleged corruption in Egypt

BY: Michael
Mathiang Ngong , EGYPT

 

The recent report that was released by South Sudanese Students' Association (SoSSA) office in Cairo caught the students and public by surprise due to the fact that they have misinformed the civic and the media at large about the students' problems in various Universities and High Institutes of the Arab Republic of Egypt. Hence it is not a surprise to have it analyzed from all its prospective as an individual student. However I'm writing in my capacity to make sure that all those errors that they have said and their effect on the students should not go unobserved.

Moreover, my point of view and analysis about the document is that, the entire leadership is shortsighted enough not to focus on the distressing issues affecting students but basically concentrated on the money misused by the entire Ministry of education, which is totally a hundred miles away from the exact problem affecting students in Egypt.Tthough it is of course a hindering factor, it would have been the second last agendum to be tackle.

Not to bore my readers in my views, I just want to begin by evaluating their entire work that give birth to this Arabic translated minutes, which did not give sense but a collection of "money-eaten reports"

1. General Assembly: It is the first of its kind since the inception of SoSSA- Cairo to conduct its first General Assembly on
the 9th Oct, 2009 after the later visit of Lomino,the Chairman of SoSSA to Juba which was well-liked and supported by all the students. However, the long awaited Chairman bored us in the meeting with the long list full of unconfirmed figures, which have no link with the students' problems like re-admission, transfer and delay of students' bursaries etc. Therefore, I was so much ashamed of that vague report which was dragging us out of our point of distress to a political theatre whose judgment is not sometimes admired by some students in that case.

In the same note I would like to mention facts about the attendances which was fabricated to have been highly attended, this meeting was privatized and for that matter, the 2/3 majority failed to turn up as a result of lack of clear information of what appeared to be a Students' First General Assembly (FGA) when it was in fact a strike, and to prove them wrong, it is clear indicated  in their report 132 of 300 which the chair-man had claimed to have passed the vote of no confident to the educational coordinator when it is something that need unanimous consensus and views from all. Hence this was something articulated, as the reality is that, big number of the students like in Alexandria, Mansoura, Tanta, and Zigazig were not informed about the meeting that was to be held on that particular day thus few individuals, presumably his close friends were made aware of the meeting and by some people so as to make his agenda go unopposed. However, in real sense the meeting was exactly attended by 63 students only which is a quarter of the entire scholarship. What is the reason for making such a meeting of paramount importance, which would have been mandated to address problems facing students in
Egypt to be held in secrecy?

2. Report of the SoSSA delegation to Juba (in fact Lomini and his friends) As a contractual obligation of the chairman, he went faster with our report which we gave him to the Ministry of education but he (the chairman of SoSSA) headed directly to the "Ministry of Parliament", when that Ministry is non-existent in any government bureaucracy unless in his case. Landing in Juba international airport the chairman hurriedly formed his ancillary committee which remained as names and numbers in his dairy for his report but he spent all his days and times besides his Equatorian acquaintances and his uncle Honorable Ustaz Natiso in South Sudan legislative Assembly (SSLA) lobbying about "how much money GoSS has been giving to the students in Egypt"? Rather than what is the cause of the delay of the students' bursaries?

To this stratum we realized that our guy missed a legal procedure of an institutional reporting, instead of taking our report where they are needed he took the office home, which was a surprise to people like me and the rest. The man did just disenchant us, instead of coming with the solution of the problem we've entrusted him, he also came with cases to be solved. Is that not a mess up? When he goes on saying that, there are elements of tribalism in the Ministry of education. When asked about the minister, "the minister is under investigation" in fact the whole Ministry he added, so in that case who then will solve our problem if he doesn't want to meet the minister whom he said that is under investigation? Now our three time repeaters are waiting hungrily for his promise while he is indulging in kith and kin politicking which have no like term solution to those whom the scholarship affect mostly. I'm terrified that SoSSA needs to recoup because it is losing its vision.

In issuing this statement on his own assumption, "Students became so angry on that and decided that, the coordinator must be changed with immediate effect, if not, students will take severe action against Mr. Santo should the Ministry of education failed to adhere to their quest and the Ministry of Education will be responsible for any vandalism that students will inflict on Mr. Santo once he step in Egypt."

I'm personally ashamed to hear this declaration, I don't know if this was said in closed doors or in writing, but if in public then no single student would prove the chairman precisely right. Most of the students who were there were those who were enthusiastically waiting for the coordinator in order to come and resolve their process of transfer and re-admission to colleges and faculties. So there was a lot of worries, should any one speak bad word then, there would be fear that the coordinator may not put his most effort to our affairs willingly or do as we wish. So the issue of the coordinator inactiveness in his service was something preserved. Therefore to this far end, should the coordinator relax as per this statement, then the 60% who are due to repeat will blame it on SoSSA and mostly the chairman in case if they are totally sent home.

As quote in their report (SoSSA); The truth that will never be hidden is that, in 2007, the number of students was less than 150, when the new admission was done in 2008/2009 season, the number rose to 227 students until now, but the Number has NEVER been 300 students since the awards of this scholarship. Even the 227, many of them have abandoned their chances but Mr. Santo has never given the names of those students to GoSS MoEST."
There is no truth in this statement, statistically, according to Miraya FM, the accepted number in the Egyptian Universities and Higher Institutes was 300 students, in MoEST advertising board the number posted was more than 300 students, after further scrutiny it drop to 300 positive. However, the first barge that took off with Antony Loperito on
17th Sept, 2007 to Khartoum were 102 from Juba . Most of the students were left due to the fact that they did not meet the necessities for foreign travel, 45 students were found in Khartoum, after five days of stayed in Dar la Saleh Dormitory (The Roman Catholic School in Cairo) they number increased to 175, three days later 75 files were identified to be applicants of Sudanese residents in Cairo, with this number, the number keep on increasing according to Loperito yet in his general report he still maintain in his report, the 300 Southern Sudanese Students in the Egyptian Universities and Higher Institutes. Of course yes he was right, because Egypt was serious looking forward that the number is completed to 300, and that resulted in MoEST sending 29 students among them is the SoSSA chairman who claims today that the number of the student in 2007 was less than 150.

The data collected by  SoSSA, came as a result of  membership forms distributed  to students of which most of them failed to fill because they were not contented with the formation of SoSSA. SoSSA is not a competent organ to know  the exact number of  the entire scholarship. So in this case does it not mean that those who never filled the forms are not part of the scholarship according to Mr. Chairman's report? I believe the actual report should be obtained from the coordinator who is both the government and students' representative for that matter.

The other burning issue that needs the attention of the public according to Chair-man's report  and I view as a weakness which I quoted as follows "there is element of tribalism, nepotism and favoritism in the MoEST-GOSS specially among the senior staff of the ministry, to prove this the acting under-secretary released good sum of money to Mr. Yak John Dau to pay as school fees in the university."

Its our joint effort as Southerners to work for the unity of our people in and outside South Sudan . However, the Chairman have seem to have sidelined himself along the tribal line which made him to emphasized much on a simple assistance given to this one poor boy who is struggling to climb his ladder of education but failed intentionally to mention an overwhelming truth about the suspended under-secretary Dr. Josephine Lagu who diverted assistance money summing up to 320,000 US dollars,  of thousands of South Sudanese students studying in Ugandan Universities and Colleges, into her boy-friend's account something that deserved his former description as lump-sum amount of money privately channeled.

Whereas the status quo, of our scholarship in
Egypt should not be compared vis-vis with Uganda-Kenya Scholarship in term of financial needs that serve as regard to their comparison. One of its kind is the full commitment of MoEST- GoSS by sending us a representative and a free academic system that we are enjoying here both in term of general academic and accommodation. While on the other hand, students in both Uganda and Kenya act as representatives by themselves as well as depending on their personal private housing. So should that give us jealousy when the government does them better than us? I think there is no point here but an exaggeration of a different thing.

Our small institution have just in a twinkle of an eye forgot how much Santo has been working hard to make sure that  all the students are accommodated and get admitted to their respective Universities on time and without any hindrances. It was through the effort of Santo that help in the installation of SoSSA, both financially, socially and psychologically, because he already knew that there are some of the duties that SoSSA can handle without him or any government intervention. To mention just but a few of his success since he took over the office from his predecessor.

Santo could not only be rebuked but should also be given appreciation, due to the fact that in his time there has been a lot of changes which would not spare us, if we don’t tell the truth from it, but blackmailing somebody for unknown reason in order to gain individual interest as seen in SoSSA report, is a clear inability in a person. As soon as he took over his work as our coordinator he was committed for the course of Southern Sudanese Students studying in various Universities and Colleges, he made sure that the assistance given to us by our government is increased and extended to those who were not part and parcel of the scholarship. This increment was from 50 to 100$ because the money given in the beginning was not enough to cater for the up-keep of the students.

It was not an easy task to pass such kind of critical issue in the country amidst economical crisis like South Sudan but Santo make it from there. He went as far as confronting the parliament about our issue before being given an approval as a result, the success was received by all the students gloriously. I know there are some poor families outside there in South Sudan struggling just to survive but look at this-- Is it not fair in winning that goal?

The other thing that need not to escape our ears was that, it is all that clear that, the scholarship is free, but according to the rules of the Universities and Higher Institutions as an independent institutions, they demanded  extra- payment for other services like books, medical checkup, school identity card and many more… etc but Santo was  also able to report all those, and as a result if fact may be said from the broad day light, then Santo got credit. He succeeded last year for the book fee, Medication, (not just a medical checkup fee but in case anybody got sick in the entire scholarship then he/she should fully be treated, and for that case Santo handled more than 10 cases of a serious operations of  Appendicitis, cancer, ulcer.

Secondly apartments were rented, in fact the second class one comfortable with everything in it-- should that be denied too? I fear all those, but reality should be fixed in place.

While I don’t doubt all the other weakness that Santo have had, but when it is made in a way that does not voice everybody’s opinions, then it should be questioned.

And therefore I would like to call upon the attention of the students and all my readers of this letter or report whatever they called it, it does not reflect the views of all the students but few individuals who have a mixed feeling that will never be understood unless you first become one of these students and also a resident of Cairo.

 

 



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