News, Western Equatoria State

MPs Grill minister over salary Delay

By Victor Mangu

South Sudan’s Western Equatoria State Minister of General Education and Instruction on Wednesday appeared on the floor of the state Transitional Legislative Assembly, in response to a summons by the parliament.

Minister Grace Apollo Musa honoured lawmakers’ demand to answer questions on the status of education and the welfare of schoolteachers in the state.

The legislator questioned the minister as to why teachers were reportedly not paid their salaries in most of the counties across the state, leading to an alleged closure of schools.

However, in response, Minister Apollo told parliamentarians that all teachers who are on government payroll of Western Equatoria State (WES) have received their salaries up to the month of April, this year.

She stated that all government schools are operational.

“If there are schools in the state whose teachers have not received their payment, I request to have the names of those schools and teachers, to cross-check with the county education directors,” she implored.

Meanwhile, on private schools which charge high fees, the minister said that according to the General Education Act 2012, private schools are investments and shall charge reasonable fees.

She said, “therefore, it is up to the parents to take their children to the schools of their choice; if they choose a public school, they are free.”

She stated that the role of the state ministry of education is to ensure that private schools follow the curriculum and academic calendar and the guiding principles of the government.

According to the minster, since the establishment of the national examination secretariat in 2013, tan amount SS 200 SSP was charged as examination fee.

“But last year the fee was raised to 5,000 SSP and 7,000 SSP, respectively, due to complaints from the states” she explained.

The minister told the legislators that all the fees demanded by the National Examination Secretariat is send to Juba without leaving a pound for the state.

Meanwhile, Western Equatoria State Transitional Legislative Assembly speaker, Rt. Hon. Wakili Abudu Ngamunde, thanked the minister for responding to the summons.

He said the minister’s response showed unity in the government and cooperation between the Legislature and Executive since they are delivering services to the citizens of the state.

Ngamunde said summoning a minister to the parliament is not a crime.

The speaker said they are doing their oversight role because they are the eyes of the citizens on the government.

She urged ministers not to boycott summons but rather show up in parliament and present their reports and their plans to the August House for scrutiny and ratification so that they move together in the development of the state.


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