Gaborone — Higher education ministries of Botswana and South Sudan on May 30 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the field of tertiary education.
The Minister of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology (MoTE) Mr Ngaka Ngaka signed on behalf of Botswana while his South Sudanese counterpart Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology Mr Yien Oral Lam Tut signed on behalf of his country.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, which was also attended by various stakeholders, Minister Ngaka noted that Botswana acknowledged that South Sudan had a shortage of teachers and was prepared to assist where possible.
He therefore said the MoU would help come up with modalities and guidelines of how to go about the agreement.
Meanwhile, the Assistant Minister of Tertiary Education Mr Fidelis Molao noted that Botswana understood that South Sudan was undergoing reconstruction in various aspects hence needed to be assisted.
He noted that in this regard, Botswana would take pride in a future prosperous South Sudan.
Mr Molao said while Botswana had her own problems, among them youth unemployment, he was positive that the MoU would avail opportunities for the two countries to exploit for the betterment of the lives of their people.
He further called on the South Sudanese government to harness the Botswana education spectrum by sending their students to both public and private tertiary learning institutions here and further invite them to set up in their country.
In the meantime, he said his ministry would consider the request by South Sudanese minister of higher education for 100 slots of scholarships for vocational training. Earlier on, Mr Tut said his country would be pleased if Botswana could offer them 100 scholarships for vocational education.
Currently there are some South Sudanese students at Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources and institutes of health sciences across the country.
He noted that the signing of the MoU was a historic milestone, which should be hailed as it cemented the relationship between the two countries in the area of tertiary education.
He said while in the past they used to look to Egypt for tertiary education, they had since spread their focus to other African countries and identified Botswana as an ideal partner in this regard.
Mr Tut said three quarters of South Sudan's cabinet ministers were graduates of Egyptian tertiary institutions. The South Sudanese minister noted that education was an investment on the nation, which could not be ignored and therefore hoped the agreement would last and bring more positive rewards for the two countries.
In his welcome remarks, the permanent secretary of MoTE Dr Theophilus Mooko said the signing of the MoU was a continuation of their engagement with their South Sudanese counterparts in the field of tertiary education.
Source : BOPA