Home | News    Saturday 11 October 2014

Jonglei teachers strike ahead of budget debate

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October 10, 2014 (BOR) – Teachers in South Sudan’s Jonglei state capital, Bor, have gone on strike, demanding that their 10-month housing allowances be fully settled.

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School pupils demand creating of a conducive environment for learning in Bor, May 22, 2014 (ST)

A meeting between teachers and education officials was held on Friday, but both parties reportedly failed to reach consensus on the matter.

The teachers’ demands follow a decision from the executive to reduce civil servants’ housing allowance by 50% in the new ceiling budget, yet to be reviewed by parliament.

“We the common men outside here have ears and eyes. The executive sat in their final budget review and halved our housing allowances. They did not touch anything that belongs to them. Why did they reduce our housing allowance by half?” said one teacher.

Deng Bol, another teacher, said they resolved to halt teaching until their demands were addressed by the authorities.

“Look, we have decided to stop teaching till this issue is resolved. Since austerity measures were imposed by the central government in Juba three years back, we never complained, but they [government officials] have been receiving their housing allowances,” said Bol.

“This time, we will continue until the truth is revealed,” he added.

John Akoi Malok, a clergy and teacher in the village school, said children of the poor will in the end suffer, if the boycott persists.

“I know it will take time for us to achieve what we want. But since time wasted is never recovered, these children from the poor families will be the victim in the end,” said Akoi.

“We have already started our long journey and this will be a lesson and test to our leaders if they really care,” he added.

Sources say the first draft of the state ceiling budget for the fiscal year 2014/2015 allocated full housing allowances to civil servants.

The second review of the budget saw some alterations made to the housing allowances earlier allocated to the teachers, according to a member of the technical committee working on the budget.

As one of the line ministries in the state, the education ministry gets 80% of its budget directly from Juba, while the remaining 20% is expected to be supplemented from state-generated revenues.

Bor was badly hit by the ongoing crisis, prompting government to initiate a half reduction in salaries of civil servants in the state.

This directive has, however, been opposed by teachers working in the state.

Attempts to reach education ministry officials over the teacher’s strike were futile, but a senior official hinted that the education minister would table the matter to council of ministers next week.

(ST)

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  • 11 October 2014 15:12, by Ayom Ayom

    Politician and teachers should not politicized the situation, Security and Famine are the first priority, Education with other services will follow.

    repondre message

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