Salary delay upsets public schools

Pupils are saying salary delay in government institutions will have negative impact on the country’s education as most teachers don’t show up for lessons delivery.

Akor William, a pupil at Juba One Girls primary school said teachers are so reluctant to enter classes whenever they come to school, “The teachers said since they are not being paid, they cannot be forced to teach on empty stomachs”.

William said, sometimes they spend the whole day without any lesson because the teachers have taken almost three months without receiving their salaries.

Another pupil, Mary Lasu of Juba One Girls primary school said she feels bad when she goes back home without learning any lesson. She said she struggles to go to school every day, therefore, she should attend and learn at least a lesson at school.

The pupils reiterated that the delay of teachers’ salaries always has negative impact on the performance of the pupils, citing poor results as one of the negative impacts of poor teaching since teachers are not motivated well enough”.

Ms. Lasu narrated that sometimes they are forced to leave for home before time even after attending only one lesson out of the five subjects scheduled in the timetable.

She appealed to the government to address the situation and consider education as its first priority by paying off the three months’ salary arrears of the teachers.

“I think it is the announcement of free education that brought up all these mess because some teachers feel they are working for free as they earn nothing out of it,” Ms. Lasu said.

Samuel Pitia John who is a teacher in Juba Day secondary school said the delay of teachers’ salaries is a burden on teachers because they are unable to meet the basic needs of their families.

He said a month ago the head teacher gave them some food items which indeed helped them and their families saying he wished that help could continue.

Pitia said there is no financial and social support to attract more suitable persons to the teaching career, “There are completely no clear systematic arrangements to offer capacity building to teachers who are interested in teaching profession. There are refresher courses available”.

He said the teachers’ strike last time was meant to let the government pay them on time but it seems the government is under looking education and taking security as the most important thing.

Jafar Bol Phan, a teacher from Ngundeng Complex secondary school said the bad condition in the teaching profession has prompted most teachers to quit the teaching profession in favor of better paying jobs.

“There is a limited chance of promotion in the teaching profession; a teacher can serve for a long time without being promoted and remain in the same grade. We have to be motivated as teachers in all areas and our salaries need be increased”.

“It has not been easy for us since the school was relocated from Bieh state to Juba due to the outbreak of the conflict. We have not been paid for the last three months now,” Phan said.

However, George Kenyi Wilson, the Head teacher of Juba Day secondary school said some of his teachers received their salaries for the month of January yesterday. He said the salaries for the months of February, March, April and May are pending.

Kenyi encourages the teachers to do their Job for the benefit of the future generations. He said that teachers should not give up their profession due to lack of money or low salaries.

“Without education many South Sudanese will continue living in poverty,” Kenyi told Juba Monitor yesterday.

He appealed to the government to unify the salary structure of its civil servants adding that teachers and other civil servants are all equal hence, they all serve the same purpose.

By Asunta Alith and Scovia Duku

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