In the interview with ACI Africa, Fr. Asida said that none of the Catholic schools in Juba Archdiocese and in many other Catholic Schools in the country had reached the SSP.80,000 (US$200) the government said should be the maximum amount charged in a private school.
“Our school fees range from as low as 30,000 South Sudanese pounds and doesn’t go beyond 70,000 South Sudanese pounds,” the Catholic Priest said.
He added, “We passed the budget of our respective schools in the Archdiocese of Juba and I am happy to say that we have always been below the government requirements… We have been so moderate for various reasons including the harsh economic situation that was occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
He expressed regret that despite hiking school fees, private school owners in the East-Central African country were paying their teachers meagre salaries.
The Director explained that Catholic schools managed to negotiate an affordable range because of involving various stakeholders in the Archdiocesan education department.
“In our schools, the parents and teacher associations as well as other education stakeholders develop their budget at the level of the school and the head teacher brings it to be passed in the council of the head teachers of our Archdiocese,” the Catholic Priest explained in his May 7 interview with ACI Africa.
He added, “If there is any regulation of the budget from our respective schools in the Archdiocese, it is only done at that head teachers council where we pass our budget. We did that two weeks ago and that is why we have opened our doors for registration.”
South Sudan’s government suspended learning in primary and secondary schools as well as in universities in March last year to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
The reopening of schools in the country May 6 has been lauded as the road to “normalcy” for South Sudanese youngsters, especially those who need humanitarian assistance, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
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