Lack of funding cripples education system in Unity State

Teachers from eight primary schools in Bentiu IDP camp have voiced concern after education partners ran out of funds for more than five months. UNICEF is the main funder for education emergencies in Bentiu IDPs camp and other war-affected areas of Unity State.

Currently, there are 900 primary school teachers in eight primary schools in Bentiu IDP camp and beyond under the support of UNICEF, World Relief, Mercy corps and INTERSOS education partner support temporary learning schools.

Bentiu IDP camp teachers’ representatives and headmaster of Lich Primary School Gatkuai Mawic Puok urged the state government to include 900 primary schools teachers into the government payroll system.

“We were paid under education partners for almost eight years, they paid our incentives and training from 2015 to 2021, but now they ran out of funds,” Gatluak told Juba Echo during the interviews in Lich primary in Bentiu IDP camp.

He said they are teaching without incentives adding that they are collecting money from learners on a basis. This, Gatkuai said, has piled financial burdens on parents, who have become resistant to the administrative arrangement.

“Each teacher was getting the incentives of 7,000 South Sudanese Pounds only, but now we are getting nothing. We only demand school children pay school fees on a monthly basis,” he said.

Teachers’ bodies in different primary schools within the state have sent their requisitions to the Unity State Minister of Education to integrate 900 teachers into the government system of payment.

In response, Unity State Minister of Education Tot Jockchieng said plans were underway to pay eight primary schools teachers’ incentives in Southern unity and in the Bentiu IDP camp.

“We held a meeting with UNICEF about teachers’ incentives and they agreed to fund eight primary schools in Bentiu IDPs camp including Leer, Koch, Panyijiar and Mayendit teachers, but they will start in May to December 2022,” Jockchieng told Juba Echo during the interview in Bentiu town.

However, Parent Teachers Association held several meetings with education partners in support of teachers but there has been a slow response in regards to funding.

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