South Sudan is to phase out Arabic as the language of instruction in schools within the next three years, an official said today.
The minister for General Education, Joseph Ukel, said Arabic will be gradually replaced with English as the official medium of communication in schools and public offices as enshrined in the new country’s constitution.
Arabic language has been used in North Sudan in close association with the Islamic religion and got fully entrenched in the South during the imposition of Sharia law in the early 1990s.
“Within the next three years, we will have replaced Arabic with English as the medium of instruction in schools,” Mr Ukel said.
Mr Ukel said that an agreement has been reached with the Sudan to allow students of the newly independent South Sudan sit for Sudan School Certificate that is issued after three years of secondary education.
The examinations will be set in the Sudan in Arabic for South Sudanese students to sit for and will be marked in the Sudan.