Students of Dr. John Garang University on strike
By: Manyuon Mayen Manyuon
Students of Dr. John Garang Memorial University in Bor are on strike over suspension of exams.
Yesterday, lecturers suspended the ongoing examination over what they said government failure to keep its promise to pay the lecturers’ salaries.
According to the University administration, the lecturers were supposed to receive their five months salaries on Monday as promised by the government.
However, the lecturers vowed not to continue with the exams until the national Ministry of Finance clears the arrears.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Akim Ajieth Buny, Director of Information and External Affairs at the University confirmed to Juba Monitor that the students’ examinations were suspended until further notice.
Ajith Solomon Awan, Guild president of the students union said the students went on strike because they wanted exams to be finalized on 30th as per the timetable.
“This is shocking really. Our being on strike is that all these students could not further with their examinations as the examinations have been suspended by the lecturers,” he said
“The government promised to pay them for the last five months but nothing is done to their salaries up to now,” Mr. Awan stated.
He recommended that the students’ concern was to see that the salaries of the lecturers were paid in the next 24 hours so that they resume their exams
“Our concern is that we need the salary of the lecturers to be paid possibly tomorrow (today). Their being not paid should not backfire on us the students. We need our examinations to resume as soon as possible,” Awan asserted.
Lueth Peter Reng, a third year student at College of Environmental Science said he was worried about the living condition of the students in terms of feeding may deteriorate in the few coming days if the issue of the lecturers was not addressed.
“The situation of the students in the next coming four days would not be very good because the food we have in the store is not enough to sustain us for almost one week,” he said
“If the school will continue up to another one more week then it means that the University will run out of food and the students will have a big problem,” he added.
Maj. Gen Joseph Mayen Akoon, the Jonglei State Police while addressing the protesters, he regretted the suspension of the examination.
“Your message is already with the government of Jonglei State, we have heard of your grievances and on behalf of the government, we regretted the inconvenience caused,” he said
He advised the students to be peaceful and follow their issue gradually without violence.
“Conflict can be solved with harmony; there is no conflict which can be resolved with conflict. So I am telling you that the message has been heard. We need you to call off the strike and listen to what the State government will do in the next 24 hours on the matter,” he said.
According to the circular directed by the teaching staff association to the Vice Chancellor of the University indicated that the lecturers were pissed off with their living condition in the University for the last five months.
“The current appalling situation is unbearable; this is because we the academic staff are unable to cater for the needs of our families and ourselves during the academic work,” the statement read in part.