JUBA, MARCH 28, 2023 (SUDANS POST) – South Sudan’s Ministry of General Education and Instruction on Tuesday threatened to punish head teachers of government-aided schools charging parents what it called illegal fees.
On 6th February 2023, President Salva Kiir declared free primary education and directed the Ministry of General Education and Instruction, the Ministry of Finance, and the development partners to implement the constitutional requirement of free education in all public schools.
Subsequently, the National Ministry of Finance announced that it has released the first tranche of the capitation grant amounting to SSP 1 billion to public schools to facilitate free education programs.
Speaking to reporters during a press conference on Tuesday, Awut Deng Acuil, Minister of General Education said Atlabara East Primary School, Malakia Primary School, and Juba One Girls’ Primary School are charging parents fees between SSP 30,000 to SSP 35,000 per child.
“It has come to our notice that some schools continued to charge parents the so-called parent’s contribution fee. For example, reports indicated that parents in some schools in Juba such as Atlabara East Primary School, Malakia Primary School, and Juba One Girls’ Primary School paid between 30,000 SSP to 35,000 SSP per child,” she said.
Awut said the payments are illegal and unauthorized and warned that the ministry will take legal action against headmasters found violating the free education provision.
“I urged the state ministries of education to ensure that Republican Order is fully implemented and that government schools do not charge parents any fees. Disciplinary action will be taken against any head teacher of a state school that demands payment from parents or school children,” she said.
She appealed to schools that collected money from parents to return them without delay.
“I, therefore, direct the head teachers of these schools and any other schools in the country that took the money to return it to parents immediately without delay. More importantly, all state schools should refrain from demanding money from the parents”
Martin Tako Moyi, Deputy Minister of General Education and Instruction said the ministry will take what he called “very serious step” against those schools charging fees.
“In South Sudan, people don’t respect laws and when laws are applied then people took arms and go beyond Jebel Kujur and become generals, so we in the ministry are in full support of what the minister said and we will take a very serious step against those schools,” said Tako.