Teachers on strike over unpaid dues in Lakes State
Government secondary school teachers at Rumbek and Riak-Dor secondary schools on Monday went on strike over unpaid incentives in Lakes State.
Makur Nyot Marol, a teacher at Rumbek Secondary School, told Radio Tamazuj that they wrote a petition to the undersecretary of the national ministry of education about the delays in payment of incentives to teachers.
"When reopening of senior 4 classes was announced by the national ministry of education, they promised to pay teachers Covid-19 incentives but since October, which is exactly one month now, no incentives are being paid to us and this is the reason we wrote a petition to the national ministry of education and a copy was given to the state ministry of education in Rumbek,” Makur Nyot said.
Makur Nyot appealed to the national ministry of education and general instruction in Juba to resolve the matter before teachers laid down their tools.
"We fixed Friday last week as the last day for all teachers to lay down their tools if nothing is resolved," said Makur Nyot. “As we speak now we are not teaching in Rumbek Secondary School. The lessons that we gave stopped last Friday and all government secondary schools teachers will not provide lessons to learners this week if our incentives are not paid.”
Alfred Agolder Mathok, the director-general of the ministry of education in Lakes State, confirmed receipt of the petition written by the secondary school teachers but said the national ministry of education in Juba is processing the payment which has been approved and that very soon the incentives will be paid.
"Yes, it is the national ministry of education in Juba that is responsible for their incentive payments and not the state and that is why Windle Trust International is here to facilitate the approval from Juba and then from here to the schools," he said.
He added, “I am telling you I am not responsible. This is a donor impact money and it is the ministry of national education together with our partners who are the ones handling it and not the states."
He denies any claims that teachers were threatened with arrests once they go on strike.
Monica Piath Ruop, a female science student in Riak-Dor secondary School, said it was the second day senior four candidates have missed classes due to the strike.
"Our teachers have rights and they deserve motivation and there is no need to delay their payments,” Piath said.
Rezekiah Mathot Meen, an arts student in Rumbek Secondary School said that they have not been taught regularly since last week due to delays in payment of incentives to the teachers.
"This is why we in government schools fail during the examination because we are not being taught well because there is no teacher that commits himself while his family is suffering without food. But if the government pays them their money, they can commit to teaching the students and we will pass examinations."
Meen appealed to the ministry of education in Juba to resolve the issue of payment of teacher incentives so that students resume classes.