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Incentive to benefit South Sudanese teachers in hard-to-reach areas

By Okech Francis

South Sudanese teachers operating in remote and hard-to-reach areas are set to benefit from a two-year incentive program.

At least 7,450 primary school teachers in hard-to-reach areas will receive a monthly cash incentive for through an OUTREACH program, funded by the European Union and UNICEF, a statement emailed by the two agencies said.

The program will be implemented in collaboration with national and State Ministries of General Education and Instruction and will reach out to 1,950 qualified and 5,500 volunteers, each receiving the monthly financial incentive as a training allowance under a Continuous Professional Development (CPD) program, a plan to enhance teacher retention in hard-to-reach areas to support regular teaching activities.

“Teachers in hard-to-reach areas of South Sudan face multiple challenges and there is a lack of qualified female teachers,” Awut Deng Acuil, National Minister of General Education and Instructions said in the statement.

“The OUTREACH program will help overcome the shortage of teachers by building the capacity of volunteer teachers already teaching in the hard-to-reach regions,” she said.

The monthly teacher incentive payments will attract and retain teachers in schools and the training will improve their teaching skills and eventually contribute to improved learning outcomes for children in hard-to-reach areas in South Sudan.

In 2021, the first phase of the OUTREACH program provided a one-off payment of incentives to 34,312 teachers nationwide for the back-to-school campaign.

“While the European Union had to phase out the general incentives’ support for teachers and hand over this responsibility to the South-Sudanese authorities, we are happy to keep providing incentive payments to Primary School Teachers in Hard-to-Reach areas where educators work in extremely difficult circumstances,” the EU Ambassador to South Sudan, Christian Bader said.

The program will include a piloting of mobility allowance to 100 female teachers to attract and retain them as role models for female students in Hard-to-Reach areas.

“Without teachers in classrooms children cannot learn and these incentive payments will help to bring them back to the classrooms to facilitate quality learning for our children. Schools are also safe spaces for children where they are protected and can play and meet friends,” Hamida Lasseko, UNICEF’s Country Representative said.

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