October 8, 2016 (BOR) - Primary and secondary school teachers have declared strike in Jonglei state, demanding that they receive their salaries increment. A representative of the teachers, Matiop Ruben, who spoke to the media blamed the government for ignoring teachers’ pay rise following the current economic inflation.
- Some of the angry youth protesting in the Jonglei capital, Bor on July 19, 2016 (ST)
Reuben said all the teachers in Jonglei state from Primary to secondary schools have agreed to strike. According to the teachers, the national government failed to fulfill the promise it announced earlier that there would soon be increment of salaries from grade seven to grade one in two circulars.
Currently, teachers are paid between 600 and 1,018 South Sudanese pounds (SSP), depending on the class of teaching.
“The government of the Republic of South Sudan came up with the resolution that salaries from grade 17 to grade 10 should be increased. That document had come into effect in the army, organized forces, in the national government and in even in some other states. In Jonglei state here, we waited for that document to be effected, but it was not effected till today,” explained Reuben.
He further explained that a second circular, which had been received by the teachers and signed by the public service department on 25 July, showed phase two salaries increment which is from grade nine to grade five, and also from grade one to grade four.
“That was supposed to [be] effective from July or August, but was not implemented,” he said.
The teachers, he added, have decided not to go back to their classes for teaching till concrete explanation about why the state government had refused to implement the circulars is made clear to them. The schools had just opened for third term and the strike, if it is not resolved in time, would disrupt the learning process.
“It is now two days for teachers not coming to schools. We want our teachers to be back. If they delay for even one day, [it] means we shall not study again,” said a primary school girl in Bor.
The state government is yet to react to the announcement made by the teachers.
Students from Jonglei state were among the top ten best performing students in the country in the national exams for secondary education. The best student who took lead nationally was from Jonglei state.
Some schools in the state were also listed among the top ten best performing schools in the country in the same exams.