South Sudan teachers grapple with hardships amid COVID-19


The extended shutdown of learning institutions in South Sudan occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened economic hardship among teachers.

Okello Kenneth, the headteacher at Darling Wisdom Academy, a privately owned primary and secondary school in the capital Juba, said the prolonged closure of the institutions has negatively impacted his financial security.

Okello said the three months he has spent without receiving monthly income has pushed his family on the edge of survival as the reopening of the school remains uncertain due to rising COVID-19 positive cases in South Sudan.

“The situation is affecting my family negatively in terms of the economic welfare, before the closure of the schools I used to earn 30,000 South Sudanese pounds (about 250 U.S. dollars) every month but now I am no longer receiving a payslip,” Kenneth told Xinhua on Tuesday.

John Remijio, a teacher at a private school said he was recently diagnosed with malaria but he could not afford to cater to his medical bills since he has become jobless as a result of school closure.

“I rely so much on my salary as I did not have another occupation and it has become so difficult to meet the needs of my family,” said Remijio.

The sole breadwinner in a large household said he has resorted to loan from friends, and colleagues in order to meet basic needs like food and medication.

Yar Rhoda, a nursery school teacher at Blessed Shepherd Nursery and Primary School located in Juba’s Sherikat suburb said the extended shutdown has forced her to depend on relatives for basic necessities including food and rent.

Her monthly salary of 60 U.S. dollars is no longer available thus worsening her financial hardships during the COVID-19 pandemic.

South Sudan authorities in March ordered the closure of all learning institutions as part of anti-COVID-19 containment measures. Enditem

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