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South Sudan: English to Replace Arabic in Secondary Schools

South Sudan's government says English will replace Arabic as the sole language of instruction in the new country's secondary schools.

The government's main website Wednesday reports the change will happen within the next three years.

An article quotes the minister for general education, Michael Milli Hussein, as saying teachers are already reviewing potential English textbooks from Kenya.

It said Hussein spoke Saturday at the opening of a new secondary school in Central Equatoria state. Hussein also pledged to hire better-educated teachers and increase the number of math and science teachers in the country.

South Sudan is in the process of establishing state customs and institutions following its independence last month.

The region's mostly African population was dominated by largely-Arab north Sudan during its years as part of the Sudanese state.

The north and south fought a 21-year civil war that ended with a 2005 peace agreement. The agreement led to a referendum this January in which the south voted overwhelmingly to split from the north.

The new country still faces troubles, including widespread poverty and chronic violence involving tribes and rebel militias.