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State governors warned against misusing education funds

Minister of General Education & Instruction,Awut Deng Acuilspeaking during the press conference

By William Madouk Garang

 The National Ministry of General Education & Instruction has warned the governors of the 10 states and three administrative areas against diverting the education funds recently dispatched to the states.

National Education Minister, Awut Deng Acuil said the funds recently dispatched to the states were meant for running schools and payment of teachers’ salaries, encompassing the 100% increment.

This is after the Ministry of Education received several complaints from state Education officials that the funds are known as ‘Education Conditional Transfers’ were not reaching them but being diverted for other use by some states governors.

Addressing the media yesterday, Minister Acuil affirmed that teachers’ salaries come as a package inclusive of allowance and as such, any state that pays teachers only basic salaries with no allowances must pay in full basic salaries plus allowances.

She added that her Ministry requests all State governors and Ministries of Finance to transfer back to States Education the exact amount that was transferred by the national ministry of Education as soon as possible.

“I directly appeal to all Governors and the chief Administrators to support education by ensuring that all the funds that are transferred by National Ministry of General Education and Instruction to the state and the administrative areas Ministries of finance,

“Should be transferred instantly to the state and Administrative Areas Ministries of Education in the exact amount transferred and which comprises of 100% increase in salaries as a package from July 2021,” Acuil appealed.

She also added that conditional transfers to the states are meant for the delivery of educational services and any diversion of these funds doesn’t only violate the condition under which funds are transferred but also discourage teachers and education stakeholders.

Ms. Acuil cited that one example of misusing educational funds is the recent order by the governor of Western Equatoria State, allocating SSP 100 million to pay county commissioners, recruitment of teachers, and purchase of motorbikes for chiefs in name of education with money meant for teachers’ salaries.

“That money was sent by the National Ministry of General Education and Instruction to pay teachers’ salaries (primary and secondary) for the months of (July, August and September) for the operational cost for primary and secondary schools. This was not a donation to counties as noted by the governor,” Acuil stressed.

In late December 2021, over 1,800 teachers in 35 schools in Central Equatoria State have laid down their tools over the omission of the “Nature of work allowance “column on their unpaid two months’ salaries. 

Presently, teachers are still on sit-home. They vowed not to teach until their salaries are paid with 100% increment as approved by national Ministry of Public Services and as ordered by President Salva Kiir on 10th birthday of the country.

Last Thursday, Central Equatoria Minister of Education,CirisoZakariaLado during his inspection to schools promised to resolve teachers’ grievances pertaining to the allowances column that was missing from the payroll. 

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