Jonglei State, News

Teachers maintain protest over salary

By Manas James

Over 200 teachers in the Jonglei State capital, Bor town, have vowed continued sit-down strike against transfer salaries to the state ministry of finance.

Since early 2022, teachers have been receiving their salaries directly from the state education ministry due to concerns of misappropriation of allowances.

On Friday, the teachers took to the streets to express their fears that the recent decision would enable embezzlement of their money.

The teachers vowed to continue protesting to protect their rights.

In an exclusive interview with No. 1 Citizen Daily Newspaper, Panchol Madit, one of the protesting teachers, explained their grievances.

“We are demanding that our money not be transferred back to the finance ministry because they are not the custodians of our funds. In 2022, we fought with the finance ministry because they were withholding some money, such as allowances” he said.

On Friday, dissatisfied teachers closed the gates of the state ministry of general education over the matter of their salaries.

“The national government had to intervene and transfer our money to the state education ministry’s account. We do not want it to be transferred back to the finance ministry,” Madit demanded.

Another protester, John Deng Ajith, stated that they would not end their protests unless their demand to cancel the transfer of their salaries from the education docket to the finance ministry was met.

“We are protesting because this decision may disrupt the regular payment of our salaries,” Deng emphasized.

“If our rights are not respected, then the rights of the students and pupils to receive education will also be affected,” he added.

Deng, who also serves as head of Jonglei State Teachers’ Union (JSTU), alleged that they had a meeting with acting state governor, John Samuel Manyuon, on Wednesday, during which they were promised that the decision would be reversed.

However, Deng said since the promise was not put in writing, the union felt compelled to continue protesting.

Jonglei state information minister, Elizabeth Nyadak John acknowledged the teachers concerns but said they could not take any action as it was within the purview of the national government.

“The decision to transfer the salaries to the state block account came from Vice President Hussein Abdelbaggi in Juba, and this does not mean that the teachers will not receive their salaries,” said Nyadak.

“They will receive their salaries as usual. So, I implore them not to waste their time on the roads and to return to work, including the children, who should go back to their classes,” she added.

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