December 01, 2016 (JUBA) - 30 teachers have been arrested after they protested over delayed wages in South Sudan’s Jonglei state.
- Representatitives of the teachers, county education office in Bor, Feb 21, 2011 ST
Ever since the strike begun over two months ago, 11 teachers have been terminated for leading and organizing the sit down protests.
Jonglei state’s education minister, Susan Lith Aluong described as illegal the demands for pay rise and refusal to allow students sit exams.
“The strike is illegal and unlawful because it has exceeded a week," Aluong told reporters in the state capital, Bor on Thursday.
Any legal strike, she added, lasts for a week and teaching resumes.
The strike began in early September when teachers demanded that the state government implements the 300% salary increment approved by the national government in February, but the state insisted there was no money to effect the increase in wages.
Teachers, presently, receive between SSP 500 and SSP 600, despite the persistent rise in inflation that reached over 800% last month.
Last week, the state ministry of education urged teachers to resume work and released a timetable for end of year exams. Some teachers reportedly tore the exams schedule, prompting the state government to order for their immediate arrest early this week.
Teachers on Thursday protested the arbitrary arrest of colleagues.
"When we were meeting, policemen came and wanted to take the leaders, but we refused and decided to come to the police together," a teacher who preferred anonymity said over phone.
Initially, police detained 75 teachers, but 45 of them were released. However 30 of them remained in detention by close of business on Thursday.
Education officials in the state said the teachers would be taken to court and charged with inciting violent. It is not clear when they will appear in court or when the exams would be done by the students.