Students want education budget increased
By Bullen Bala Alexander
Students of public universities have appealed to the government to increase the budgetary allocation for the education sector.
The call comes after the Transitional National Legislative Assembly [TNLA] discussed the 2018/2019 fiscal year budget.
Public universities in the country have experienced difficulties in management due to limited funds to run their activities, forcing delays in opening of academic semesters.
In an exclusive interview with Juba Monitor, some students said they were concerned about the low pays for lecturers and professors in the public universities.
Wilson Mayor, a student of Social Science in the College of Economic Studies at the University of Juba said many of the lecturers and professors have abandoned their teaching profession to work in the nongovernmental organizations due to poor pay.
“As I speak now, we don’t have enough professional lecturers and professors in public universities. We have been taught by teaching assistants and they are not qualified to teach the university students,” he claimed.
The student said the little salaries for lecturers cannot cater for their family needs.
Mayor said the lecturers and professors can be lured back to the teaching profession by increasing the budget allocation for the education sector.
“I am appealing to the government, especially the Specialised Committee on Education in National Assembly to really look into the issue,” Mayor said.
Emmanuel Adiri, a Medical student at the Upper Nile University said many students blame lecturers for lack of commitment, but the truth is that they lectures are not motivated due to poor pay.
“Many countries are developing not because of resources but it is because of good education systems. For us to be like them, our government has to put education first,” said Adri.
Mary Ajak, a student of Communication and Public Relations at University of Juba said the only way for South Sudan to be peaceful is through investing in education of the younger generation.
“Education is the key to nationhood and since it is the key to everything it has to be top on the budget. It has not only to be allocated five per cent but it must be increased from five per cent to 25 per cent,” she added.
In the 2018/2019 budget, the education sector was allocated 7,676 billion SSP to pay salaries of teachers, provided capitation grants to primary school and support county education departments.