Teachers in Jonglei State, South Sudan have threatened to march to state secretariat in Bor town to protest against the alleged state government’s decision to revert their salaries account from the Ministry of General Education and Instruction to Finance Ministry. John Deng Ajith, the interim chairperson of Jonglei Teachers’ Union, told Classic FM Thursday, that 326 teachers will be marching to the state secretariat to express their grievances.

The teachers fear that retuning the salaries account to the ministry of finance will delay timely payment of their salaries. They now want the decision reversed. On Wednesday the State Minister of General Education and Instruction, Gabriel Deng Ajak, disclosed that a solution had been reached and the responsibility of paying teachers’ salaries will remain with his ministry.

“Solution is about to be reached. The teachers must relax, put down the pressure and continue to wait for the decision. The decision is already made that their money will not be taken from the state ministry’s account anymore. This decision is no longer holding because it was not a collective decision of the government,” he said. But the teachers are demanding for an official communication from the state government.

“The plans to resolve this issue are not appropriate for the demands of the teachers. He [Ajak] is isolating himself that he is not part of this. We demand the state government to release official communication, if not, teachers are marching today,” said Ajik.

Ponchol Madit, one of the teachers set to march to the secretariat said they are demanding their rights. He added that they do not trust the ministry of finance with payment their salaries. “We are protesting the letter written by the ministry of finance, saying the money will be transferred back to finance. And this is the cause of the problem. We rejected that as teachers, we say we don’t trust finance staff because they keep diverting our money,” Madit stressed.

Another teacher Geoffrey Gatluak Malual stressed that they are not convinced the matter is resolved. He emphasised that they will march until their demands are met. “There is nothing that will convince us. Before the increment of our salaries there was no any claim. But when they [ministry of finance] heard the money is increased, now they want the money to be taken back, yet we have not seen what we are supposed to receive,” said Malual. He added “If there is a possibility for the national government to take the money back to finance, let them wait until next year.”