Home | News    Tuesday 11 September 2012

Low pay forces teachers to take NGO jobs in Unity State


By Bonifacio Taban Kuich

September 10, 2012 (BENTIU) - Teachers in South Sudan’s Unity State say that their low salaries are forcing them to look for work at the United Nations or Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), leaving schools without enough teaching staff.

Despite falling inflation in recent months South Sudan is in suffering from an economic crisis triggered by Juba’s decision to stop oil production earlier this year over a fee dispute with Khartoum. The stoppage meant that the government lost 98% of its revenue and has had to make cuts in many areas.

Before the oil shutdown and the rapid inflation that followed teachers were paid less than the equivalent of $200, which some teachers in Unity State say is not not enough to live on in South Sudan.

Unity State and others on the border with Sudan have been the worst affected by the economic crisis as they used import most of their goods from Sudan until Khartoum closed the border last year, accusing the newly independent nation of backing Sudanese rebels.

Teachers at Bentiu A secondary school (BASS), which has 500 student, say that their monthly wage of 750 South Sudanese Pounds is not enough to support their families and have warned that more of them may be forced to look for more lucrative work at the many international organisations that operate in the severely under developed nation.

The temptation to leave teaching for less skilled work at institutions such as the UN was exacerbated recently when the United Nation Mission in South Sudan advertised for 20 positions as security guards earning 1,200-1,500 SSP, double a teachers’ salary.

Student told Sudan Tribune on Monday at Bentiu A Secondary School that many teachers have abandoned their normal duties due to insufficient money received from government.

Bol Thow Nyuon Giel is a chemistry teacher at Bentiu Secondary says there are number of challenges facing teachers in the state, especially lack of funds, meaning that a number of teacher have left to look for better paid NGO jobs.

Giel said that this means many teachers now have to cover various secondary schools in Bentiu town. He called on the government to reverse the trend by increasing salaries for education workers.

“I think if they are paying me good money there is no reason for me to leave, because the issue is that some of the problems which are facing you are now fulfill by the place where you are working, no need for you to go for NGO’s or to go and look for special work where you can get more income, if they are paying me the same people are pay in NGO’s I believe that there will be no reason for the teachers to leave schools and work with NGO’s”, Giel added.

Nyapini Wal Khan, a third year student at Bentiu A Secondary School, said that students found it hard to learn because of the number of teachers who have abandoned their positions. He urged the government to fulfill the teachers’ needs in term of improving salary payment.

Peter Kuoy Bona, the school’s head teacher also agreed that low teacher salaries contributed to the lack of teachers. Bona appealed to the Unity State government to focus more on education so that for better future of nation.

The school has around 24 teachers both volunteers and full-time employees, he said, but as the majority received "low pay" he is not confident that they will all continue to fulfill their duties.

Bona added that the Ministry of Education needs to develop vocational training centres for the national teachers around the country to improve make them more professional. He confirmed that none of the teachers at his school including himself, had ever received any teaching methodology training.

Less than 30% of people in South Sudanese can read and write a legacy of decades of civil war and underinvestment in education, while the region was part of Sudan.

Having seceded from Sudan in July last year, South Sudan is in the process of adopting a new syllabus, taught in English, to replace the old Sudanese education, which was in Arabic.


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Bentiu A Secondary Students attend a rally on Monday, 10 September 2012 (...)
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  • 11 September 2012 06:57, by Michael Miyom Minyiel

    Getting to buy a sack of grain or sorghum in Panriang is well above what a teacher can receive. Some teachers receive only 240ssp three times least compared with 750 ssp which is least to gets one a sack of sorgum. Government needs to do something for the teachers or risk losing all for NGOs.

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    • 11 September 2012 07:06, by Kurnyel

      Low payment plus collbrations to snice against your Taban and your Kiir to White people that is what you south Sudanese do, especially Nuer they are just betrayers in their life.

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      • 11 September 2012 08:35, by Lat Dak Nyaroah

        The whole issue here is not low payment but high prices of commodities. The gov’t should come up with concrete policy to regulate market prices.
        Kurnyel: My friend I normally love to advice you to be far from tribal arguement because they will never help us to solve our problems but instead worsen them. Why you are always against Nuer People? If you have any unfinished business, be specific.

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  • 11 September 2012 09:10, by Guandong

    The RSS is paying only SPLA for Kiir want to remain on power through them. SSPS n other workers are not paying high w/c mean if u go on demonstration or turn to the government u will end up with SPLA. that is why we said let the army be separated with the political parties.

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  • 11 September 2012 10:01, by peter Marial

    Low payment and lack of capacity building has added injury into insult. Gov’t must do sth to maintain those teachers who have sacrified their lives to teach their South Sudanese and avoid paying mps more money than teachers.

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  • 11 September 2012 10:50, by Majok Akuecbeny

    Teachers must be given their right and I think the Government has been advocating to eradicate illiteracy in South.The Government has to verify the Rate of payment & upgrade their Salaries to prevent them from moving to NGOs.

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    • 11 September 2012 22:43, by panom lualbil

      Hello WORLDS, See nuer being without patience even whenever it’s for themselves! This evidence is similar to such of their rebellions against spla during the civil-war. Naath cann’t stand difficulties that including empty stomach. They are now simply leaving students for matter of just fews days prior to oils’resumpsion. But shortly after resumpsion of oils and everyone is raised, they’ll come

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      • 11 September 2012 22:47, by panom lualbil

        back and claim their positions without humiliation. I dont care either whether they leave their children without education, they wont learn nothing but tribalism.

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      • 12 September 2012 10:45, by Lat Dak Nyaroah

        Panom, Unity state is consist of both Nuer and Dinkas. Please, rinse your mouth with cool water so that your brain may transmit right message to your tangue. If you want to insult Nuer, kindly, create a subject or post your email so that you may receive concrete comments from sound minded Nuer People. I warn you to be far from tribal differences and let you be identified as South Sudanese.

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  • 12 September 2012 01:10, by solider

    SPLM/N are getting a very high salaries from south sudan government and the citizens of ss are getting nothing. i wonder till when ss will keep on going in this madness and self destruction ?

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