Professors and lecturers in South Sudan’s five public universities are on strike because of non-payment of their salaries for the past three months and other benefits for the past year.
“If the government doesn’t resolve our problems, of course the situation will remain as it is and the strike will continue” Philip Finish Apollo, spokesman for the South Sudan Public Universities Staff Association told journalists.
Apollo, who is also acting president of the University of Juba Academic Staff Association said the lecturers’ unpaid salaries total nearly 28 million South Sudanese pounds ($4.6 million). He said the strike will impact students.
If the government doesn't resolve our problems, of course the situation will remain as it is and the strike will continue.
Lecturers of South Sudan public universities have declared strike over delay of two months salaries, arrears and lack of medical allowances— Ariik Atekdit (@AAtekdit) May 24, 2016
“Teaching, of course, is going to be affected. No going to classes, things related to doing research, supervising students — of course, these are all activities university staff used to do and, of course, these are all going to be suspended,” he said.
Students urged the government to quickly resolve the problem before it spiraled out of control by providing much-needed funds.
Meanwhile, the country’s Higher Education Ministry said the ministry has done what it can to address the demands and has forwarded their complaints to the finance ministry.
The five Universities affected by the strike action are the University of Juba, University of Bahr el Ghazel, Upper Nile University , Dr. John Garang Memorial University of Science and Technology and Rumbek University.
Meanwhile the University of Juba in is graduating about 3000 students from their specialized colleges in diploma, degree, masters and PHD.
2,824 students are graduating with diplomas and degrees, while 80 graduate with a masters degree and 2 with a PHD.