Catholic Schools in Juba, South Sudan Maintain Old Schedule after Change of Time Zone

While South Sudan has officially changed from East African Time (E.A.T.) zone to Central African Time (C.A.T.), the leadership of Catholic Schools in the country’s Metropolitan Archdiocese of Juba has decided to stick to their previous schedule.

On Monday, February 1, the East-Central African Country switched from Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)+3 to GMT+2, which set back the clock by one hour.

Speaking to ACI Africa four days after the change, the Coordinator of Education in the Archdiocese of Juba, Fr. Gabriel Asida, said, “Until now we are still keeping the same time.”

“After we discussed the issue of time, we agreed to keep it until we see what the government has done for themselves but at the moment, we don’t have any big challenge,” Fr. Asida told ACI Africa Thursday, February 4.  

“We had talks with our school committees and at the moment the time table remains the same. Our schools will still start at 7:30 a.m.,” keeping the same time zone as before, the South Sudanese Cleric added.


He recalled that confusion had reigned in South Sudan, before the East-Central African country was formed, when the time zone was changed by the former president of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir.

Having been in the same office at the time, coordinating Education among Catholic schools, Fr. Asida recalls, “People in Sudan like us today were saying, what time should we use, old or new?”

“This is now going to be a confusion for a while but I am glad that all radios are sensitizing the people,” the member of the Clergy of Juba Archdiocese further said.

At the Catholic University of South Sudan (CUSS), some of the students are yet to switch their clocks to the new time zone, according to the Vice Chancellor Fr. Mathew Pagun.

“The arrival time for all students and staff of the university remains the same, though it will take a little bit of time (for new time) to stick into their minds,” Fr. Pagun told ACI Africa.

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He further said that though there has been a disruption of some activities, adjusting in others, including prayer sessions has been observed.

 “Where I go for prayers, we have adjusted our prayer time from seven o’clock to six o’clock,” the South Sudanese Cleric told ACI Africa February 4, adding that he expects to see more adjustments to the new time zone.

On the day South Sudan changed from East to Central African Time zone, the Vicar General of the Catholic Diocese of Yei, Fr. Zacharia Anguntu Sebit expressed worry that the new changes had left many people confused.

“People are wondering whether the time would change automatically or it will be done the analogue way,” Fr. Sebit told ACI Africa February 1.

He added, “Everybody woke up in South Sudan expecting to see devices having changed time on their own but now people feel the change is not there especially in watches and some phones.”


He however encouraged South Sudanese to embrace the changes, saying that they were necessary for the development of the country.

“The change is for the development of the country because internationally each country has got its autonomy to regulate its time according to its zone,” the Vicar General of South Sudan’s Yei Diocese told ACI Africa and called upon the country’s leadership to carry out awareness programs with regard to the time changes.