In May 2021, schools reopened after several months of being closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to encourage the reopening of schools, at least 33,000 primary school teachers will receive an incentive of 21,400 SSP each, covering three months through the OUTREACH project implemented by UNICEF in collaboration with the Ministry of General Education and Instruction with support from the European Union.
OUTREACH will be implemented in two phases; the first being the additional three months’ incentives to the primary school teachers and the second phase caters for about 7450 qualified and volunteer teachers in hard to reach areas of South Sudan.
According to Mr. Wim Vandenbroucke, Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation in Juba, further support towards education will be structural for better sustainability. Both EU and the government need to play their roles in partnership.
“In collaboration with UNICEF, the EU supports a next programme for payment of incentives to teachers in hard to reach places. For the future, EU is looking for more structural development on education,” said Mr. Vandenbroucke during a joint press conference with the General Education Ministry on Tuesday.
“Donors cannot continue substituting government tasks in payment of incentives and salaries. This is unsustainable but donors stand ready to partner with the government for more structural development on education, each taking up its responsibilities.”
Dr. Kuyok Abol Kuyok, Undersecretary in the Ministry said a reviewed salary structure for teachers has been factored in the new national budget. “The long term plan is the government must take its responsibility. Education is a government responsibility,” Dr. Kuyok said.
Meanwhile, Jesper Moller, UNICEF’s Deputy Country Representative emphasised the need for teachers to remain in their classrooms to ensure quality learning for pupils.
“As you know it, going to school is so much more than academic learning. It is also protection from harmful practices and an access point for other services such as food. Schools are safety net for children,” he said.
“For some children, school is also a place to meet friends and feel free to be a child. We must keep teachers in schools effectively teaching and students learning both inside and outside classrooms.”