Let’s pay teachers on time for proper implementation of free education policy

Let’s pay teachers on time for proper implementation of free education policy
Learning paralysed in Rumbek after 13 teachers were detained by security personnel. [Photo: Courtesy]

On Wednesday, the national Minister of General Education and Instructions, Awut Deng, warned the public schools against collecting tuition fees from the learners.

She said any schools that charge parents fees will be treated as illegal and a violation of the presidential order for free education.

 “If there is anybody charging students, it’s illegal because it is a constitutional matter and it has not been upheld. It means it’s a violation of the constitution itself,” she said.

“We should resist, as parents and guardians, accepting that we have to pay school to register our children. Education is free and compulsory,” Awut stressed.

Notably, it was last year when President Salva Kiir issued a decree ordering the rollout of free and compulsory education in all public primary and secondary schools across the country.

Also, he directed the Ministry of General Education to come up with policies that would promote and attract free and compulsory primary and secondary education.

Though the order seemed to have been well implemented in the last academic year, there were several challenges faced by the schools.  

Some schools were almost on the verge of closing down due to a lack of operational costs and money to pay the volunteer teachers since they were not allowed to collect any money in any form from the parents.

Nevertheless, the ministry has been paying the volunteer teachers but for instance, in Eastern Equatoria State, that money could only come after three months.

That means the volunteer teachers were getting paid after the end of the term.

So, as the new academic year begins, it is important to ensure that the teachers get their salaries every month instead of waiting for three months.

Timely payment of teachers and proper funding of the schools to meet the operation cost is the only way to ensure the efficient implementation of the free education policy. 

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