Hope for School Going Children in South Sudan as Archdiocese Keeps School Fees Low

Flag of South Sudan/ Credit: Public Domain

Catholic schools in South Sudan’s Metropolitan Archdiocese of Juba have distinguished themselves for providing quality education at reduced charges amid concerns that private schools are hiking school fees in the country.

Parents and guardians with school going children in South Sudan’s private schools have complained that the learning institutions are charging them highly as schools reopen after COVID-19 lockdown.

In an interview with ACI Africa last week after the South Sudanese government ordered schools to reduce their charges, the Director for Education in the Catholic Archdiocese of Juba, Fr. Gabriel Asida, said, “The school fees in all our schools is below the expectation of the government. In fact, we are the ones asking for small amounts from students in South Sudan.”  

South Sudan’s government, through the Ministry of General Education and Instruction, ordered, on Thursday, May 6, that all private schools in the country lower school fees and accept South Sudanese Pounds as opposed to their requirement that tuition fees be paid in US Dollars.

In the ministerial order, the government stated that it had received complaints from parents across the country that some private schools were charging very high school fees.


In the interview with ACI Africa, Fr. Asida said that none of the Catholic schools in Juba Archdiocese and in many other Catholic Schools in the country had reached the SSP.80,000 (US$200) the government said should be the maximum amount charged in a private school.

“Our school fees range from as low as 30,000 South Sudanese pounds and doesn’t go beyond 70,000 South Sudanese pounds,” the Catholic Priest said.

He added, “We passed the budget of our respective schools in the Archdiocese of Juba and I am happy to say that we have always been below the government requirements… We have been so moderate for various reasons including the harsh economic situation that was occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

He expressed regret that despite hiking school fees, private school owners in the East-Central African country were paying their teachers meagre salaries.

The Director explained that Catholic schools managed to negotiate an affordable range because of involving various stakeholders in the Archdiocesan education department.

More in Africa

“In our schools, the parents and teacher associations as well as other education stakeholders develop their budget at the level of the school and the head teacher brings it to be passed in the council of the head teachers of our Archdiocese,” the Catholic Priest explained in his May 7 interview with ACI Africa.

He added, “If there is any regulation of the budget from our respective schools in the Archdiocese, it is only done at that head teachers council where we pass our budget. We did that two weeks ago and that is why we have opened our doors for registration.”

South Sudan’s government suspended learning in primary and secondary schools as well as in universities in March last year to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

The reopening of schools in the country May 6 has been lauded as the road to “normalcy” for South Sudanese youngsters, especially those who need humanitarian assistance, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).