February 19, 2014 (RUMBEK) - Hundred of teachers in Rumbek, the capital of Lakes state have staged a peaceful demonstration on Wednesday after Governor Matur Chut Dhuol suspended the payment of their allowances without providing a reason.
- Lakes state teachers demonstrate on the streets to demand allowances, February 19, 2014 (ST)
Key ministries, including labour, finance and public services approved the payment of teachers allowances and all workers in states the received their allowance for the first time since end of the oil shutdown caused by a dispute between Juba and Khartoum over transit fees and other issues.
A group of teachers who mobilised themselves across schools operating within Rumbek town described the Lakes state government’s decision to suspend their allowances as a "war within to destabilise education” on by caretaker governor.
"This governor is having more problems with youth and educated people" a protesting teacher told Sudan Tribune.
The governor has been fighting with young people and the educational establishment ever since he was appointed by President Salva Kiir, 13 months ago.
"South Sudan is our government and I wonder why Kiir is not listening to us. Kiir is not seeing our suffering. We receiving only 300 SSP", the protesting teacher said.
Governor Dhuol, on Tuesday sent a message to payment committees to stop payment of teachers allowance. On the same day students warned the Lakes state government that any delay in re-opening schools will cause demonstrations.
On February 3, the Lakes state ministry of education, science and technology sent orders to all schools head teachers to immediately postpone the reopening of schools until further notice. In a letter signed by the Director General in the ministry of education, Ustaz David Deng Agok indicated no reason for the postponement.
"We are not happy with how this governor is acting on state affairs. He is mistreating everyone and assuming that his is the best. Now red line on education is touch by him. We will not allow him like his torture innocent people in his Langcok military secret cell” said a teacher who asked for anonymity.
Since Dhuol’s appointment in January 2013, youth, activists and intellectuals have been at odds with him and called for him to be removed or for elections to be held.
So far President Kiir has overlooked their calls.