Hassan Arun Cosmas-Yei
Teachers in Yei River county of South Sudan have resorted to doing agriculture as a result of the lockdown of schools due to corona virus pandemic.
Speaking to our reporter, Boboya Francis Wani a teacher at a Catholic church owned school Christ the King primary explained that it has not been easy to provide basic needs for his family during this lockdown because of closure of learning institution.
He mentioned that his last pay was in March before closure of schools but since then live had never been the same for his family.
Teacher Francis said currently he is doing cultivation in order feed his family and be able to buy other basic needs for the household.
“It has not been easy for me all this while especially as a private school teacher. Since schools were closed, life has been difficult, now I cultivate these crops mainly to feed my family,” the teacher lamented.
Another teacher Duku Augustino teaching in one of the private schools called New Generation Primary said the corona virus situation brought a lot of financial constrain to many teachers in the country because of joblessness.
He mentioned that doing agricultural activities has become another alternative for teachers to carryout to sustain their families.
“We face a lot of financial challenges because of not working. The only option we have is to cultivate food crops and the surplus can be sold out in order to afford basic necessities like soap and medicine,” he stressed.
A secondary school teacher Chrispas David who teaches at St Paul secondary school regrets that after the closure of schools teachers started looking for petty jobs to sustain them.
David regretted that the situation has equally affected students who could continue with their education and become future leaders.
Many people in South Sudan rank teaching at the bottom of the career hierarchy and many in the profession are subjected to bullying.
Teachers are poorly paid mainly with very bad working condition but still they try their best to ensure that children get basic education.
According to UNICEF, in 2018 an education cluster assessment found out that little had changed across the country, the ministry of Education found 41 percent of schools were non functional at the time of the assessment with mainly insecurity as the main reason for school closure.
Teachers at government schools even face more challenges because of unpaid or delayed salary payment.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic in the country all schools have been closed. Recently university students did their exams from home in order to avoid contracting the corona virus.