Home | News    Thursday 23 August 2007

E. Equatoria to recruit IPDs teachers as new employees

By Isaac Vuni

August 22, 2007 (JUBA) — The IDPs teachers will not be reintegrated but they will be recruited as new employees, the state minister of education, Science and Technology of Central Equatoria, Mr. Lokulenge Lole has said.

The state minister said reintegrating the IDPs teachers would amount to offering them senior positions as the ministry will be compelled to equate them with their colleagues most of whom are holding senior positions ranging from grade one to three, explains Lokulenge.

He added that most of the IDPs are from Arabic partners but the new education policy of southern Sudan government is shifting from Arabic to English instruction where they will not very much be of benefits.

However, the Deputy Speaker of Central Equatoria state, MP John Lado Tombe, who also chaired the debate, said a single minister cannot make such a grave decision rather it’s the central Equatoria parliament de deliberate and come out with recommendations and possible solutions. Hence, he urged the 25 members in attendance to consider such remarks as a personal opinion of minister Lokulenge.

Lokulenge Lole who was answering questions from lawmakers said in his defense that his ministry has submitted budget to GoSS ministry of Finance and Economic Planning but has not yet receives any reply on whether its approved or rejected hence such unbecoming delay hinders state ministry’s plan of actions. However the minister was unable to answer questions on how many teachers are in the state payroll but only gave an estimate that the whole state has 19,000 employees with a promised that the rest of ministry details will be incorporated in his policy statement to be delivering soon.

Meanwhile the minister attributed poor performance of this year primary schools to different foreign syllabus and random registration of students who came from Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, DRC Congo and Central African Republic including those inside Sudan and SPLM administrative areas all came with different educational background while some came with fake certificates and cannot perform well because they have no basic instruction.

Minster Lokulenge assured lawmakers that his ministry is in process of fading out foreign syllabus and that by January next year primary schools in southern Sudan will have unified examinations.

NEED FOR A BUDGET FOR EDUCATION

"We in Central Equatoria state have the highest number of teachers, schools and children in whole of southern Sudan but GoSS allocated only 6% of its total budget to ministry of education science and technology yet the minimum amount should have been 20% for promoting effective education in southern Sudan. In this regards it’s the government of southern Sudan who is not serious in promoting education than me state minister you are blaming of not being serious;" said Lokulenge.

Education minister suggested to the state lawmakers that Goss must have its own education budget including the state than relying much on multi-donor funding and NGOs.

Nevertheless, Lokulenge commended the NGOs who came to their aid and made their possible for his ministry to supply school books both to government and private schools mostly runs by churches that are non profit making. Therefore he asked church schools not to skyrocket their school fees since government has provided them with free tax books.

However, Lokulenge cautioned lawmakers not relay too much on the NGOs otherwise, NGOs will detect whatever they like on the authorities in the state, advised minister Lokulenge.

He denied an allegation that he has failed to respond in time; rather he blamed the parliament for postponing twice his appearing before them. Otherwise, Lokulenge said presentation of his policy statement to the lawmakers would have cleared most of their questions and doubts on his ministry performances.

He assured the lawmakers that in every counties of Central Equatoria state Lokulenge his ministry had planned to have boarding schools that will accommodate 500 students and it would required one million American dollars for its set up but the ministry is handicapped of finances besides no NGOs is prepared to support such programme. Therefore minister Lokulenge challenged the august house to take charge of soliciting funds for building boarding schools; while assuring them that his staff will be ready to conduct the necessary investigations.

There are 16,394 employees in Central Equatora state out of which 7,626 are employees of the ministry of education science and technology.

Minister Lokulenge is the fourth ministers grilled by Central Equatoria state assembly specialized committee after Henry Danga, Deputy governor who is also the minister for Local government and law enforcement agency, Minister of physical infrastructures and Mr. Charles Jongo, minister of forestry to give clarifications on governor policy statement that taches a particular ministry before the lawmakers could passed the state government policy statement that was delivered on July 16th 2007

The Central Equatoria State Legislative Assembly composed of 48 MPs with ten specialized committees including leader of the government business Hon. Naphtali Hassan Gale, Finance, Economy and Manpower Development, chair by Hon. Leonard Logo Mulukwat, Services committee chair by Hon. John Lado Lokor, Members affairs chair by Hon. Maka Mustafa Fataki, Legal, Peace, Human Rights and Humanitarian affairs chair by Hon. Awate Ester John, Security and Public Order chair by Hon. clement Maring Samuel, Lands, Natural Resources and Environment chair by Hon. Simon Lumori Philip,Information, Culture and Youth chair by Hon. Ghadda James Killa, Gender and social welfare chair by Hon. Zendia Eluzai Abu.

It is to be recalled that the promotional campaign initiative of go to school was launched last year in April by President Salva Kiir Mayardit. The plan aims to get 1.6 million children into school by the end of 2007 in the whole southern Sudan.

(ST)