This article was last updated on May 26, 2022
Hon. Kuel Aguer Kuel, who took over from General Paul Malong in April, announced his internal plans to renovate and empower education in the state, to avoid sending kids to east Africa for costly education.
Addressing the audience at Aweil’s Freedom Square, he revealed that his government had formed a committee to inspect all teaching staff for credibility and absenteeism:
“As you may have noticed from my previous speeches, I said that I would focus on improving education, health, security, roads and good drinking water. This week I have begun to scrutinize the ministry of education to verify the availability of teaching staff and whether they qualify to teach in those institutions or schools where they teach at so that we know who doing what, where and when?” he explained.
Acting Governor Kuel continued: “This is because there were reports of a huge vacuum in the ministry of education, as teachers leave their profession and join other fields. Is it because of low pay? Or lack of skills? There is a solution for that.” He said.
Kuel further revealed that his committee will verify ghost names and other factors which qualify a teacher to be a teacher, inspecting the proper measures for ensuring quality education in the state. He warned that those who are found to be cheating as teachers, yet are not present in the schools, shall be dealt with as per the law.
“This committee was simply formed to inspect all teaching aspects of every teacher; their conditions, qualifications, presence and absenteeism, so that we exactly know who is present before we plan to bring more qualified teachers to do the job.” He explained.
Despite new measures to improve these sectors, teachers expressed their disappointments with the disappearance of their salaries and sometimes, delays of two to three months without pay as an explanation for the quality of the education service offering in the country.
The Teacher’s Union chairperson in NBGS, Ustaz Garang Deng, said they will focus in doing what it takes to deliver quality education, although teachers undergo poor pay and delayed salaries:“We know that every teacher is undergoing difficulty in feeding himself/herself on these teaching salaries but as a profession and commitment for being a career and personal dedication in life, we are always committed to serve our citizens despite numerous challenges.” He stressed.
NBGS teachers’ salaries of December 2013 have not been paid up to date, without convincing reasons from the responsible authorities. A payment committee was recently established to verify teachers on the payroll, but it severely worsened the situation as an unconfirmed number of teachers remained unpaid.
To prove his words, the Governor asked the local community to cooperate with his office, informing them should anybody in the school or hospital abuse with their powers in those institutions.
According governor’s statement, he will fill in the gap of non-qualified teachers with professional teachers with rewards of improved payment. He also says, should he fails in getting locals, South Sudanese; he may be forced to get international teachers to do the job.
Statistically, NBGS is reported to have more than 200 schools of which most of them are Under Trees Schools [UTS] others with poor ventilation and lack of latrines.
Governor finally urges Parents Teachers Associations [PTAs] to play big roles in reporting issues to do with abuses in the school for the due accountability.