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Southern Sudan to take home the 8-4-4 system

9/1/2005 3:40pm

By Ochieng Ogodo

Southern Sudan will adopt the Kenyan 8-4-4 system of education. Southern Sudan Commissioner of Education Kotsi Manibe said the system was picked because it was "well developed".

Kenya, he added, was in a position to assist the eastern African country with teachers, books and other reading materials as well as specialists to set up an education system.

Manibe added that the South Sudanese government would rely on Kenya for expertise and logistical support in its efforts to build an effective and functional education system.

He added that Kenya had an "efficient educational infrastructure" and many professionals on who Southern Sudan would depend to build their own.

"We will rely on Kenya for logistical and technical support to build our educational system," he said.

He said education in Southern Sudan was in a crisis, adding that the region lacked qualified teachers and had no reading materials including books.

The education boss said that Southern Sudan tried to introduce the 8-4-4 system in 1996 but did not succeed due to the civil war between the then rebel Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement and the Khartoum government.

"It wasn’t possible to implement the 8-4-4 system during the war. But we have now developed a curriculum and it will be implemented because there is peace," he said.

A peace agreement between the SPLM and the Khartoum government was signed in January in Nairobi, ushering in peace for the first time in decades.

Manibe recently received a book donation worth Sh2 million from the Jomo Kenyatta Foundation that publishes schoolbooks among others.

Manibe said a John Garang Foundation would be set up along the lines of the Jomo Kenyatta Foundation. He said the publishing firm would help make this possible.

He added that Kenyan teachers were welcome to seek jobs in Southern Sudan.

Micah Cheserem, the Jomo Kenyatta Foundation chairman, promised that the publishing company would offer Southern Sudan help.

"We will assist write books relevant to Southern Sudan education, " he said.

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