Education International (EI) Africa, in the framework of Building Resilience in Crisis Areas through Education project (BRICE), organised a three-day Capacity Building workshop at Regency Hotel, Juba from 7th – 9th December, 2021. The workshop aimed at strengthening the leadership of the newly formed National Teachers’ Union of South Sudan (NTUSS). It was attended by state union leaders, members of the union’s Steering Committee, the General Secretary of UNATU, the Regional Director of EI Africa, as well as representatives from Oxfam – South Sudan’s Education Department. The General Secretary of UNATU, Filbert Bates Baguma, was the lead facilitator, a good example of South-to-South cooperation.
In his opening remarks, Dr. Dennis Sinyolo, Regional Director of EI Africa, urged all leaders at all levels, but especially those at the grassroots, to take an active role: "Make sure that NTUSS is well known and alive at all levels because there is no union unless it is alive starting from school level, college level, university level, and grassroots level".
He further counselled the union to provide quality services, benefit schemes, and capacity building trainings to their members in order to improve, not only their welfare, but also the quality of education. He also encouraged the union to work with the International Labour Organization (ILO), UNESCO, and other education partners to improve union participation in social dialogues and pledged that EI would continue to support the union.
Four comprehensive presentations were made on various topics, including Trade Union values; Membership recruitment, retention and organising; Concept note and project proposal writing; and Strategic Planning at the workshop. A SWOT (Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats) analysis of the union was undertaken to determine the situation of the union.
The workshop highlighted some recommendation at the end. These are:
- Employment of a technical person to help in documentation and reporting in the union;
- Involvement of the Steering Committee to engage with the National and State Governments to resolve the issues affecting the teachers, especially salary related issues; and,
- Provision of adequate time for a practical session during workshops (5 days recommended).
“This is a great development. NTUSS needs to get onto its feet as teachers in South Sudan are working under extremely difficult circumstances. The country is new and very unstable. We really appreciate the opportunity and support from our partners in the BRICE project.” Dr Dennis Sinyolo said. The BRICE project is funded by the European Union via Oxfam Ibis (Denmark).
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