The matter came up just days after teachers under the Uganda National Teachers’ Union (UNATU) called off their strike that had started on June 15, 2022, to compel the government to enhance their salaries with equity across the board. The strike resulted from the government's decision to increase the pay for science teachers nearly by 300 per cent.
According to records at the district education department, 40 teachers tendered in their resignations last term to join elective politics. Some schools are now struggling to cope with the staff shortages.
When Mrs Jill Kentaro, a grade three teacher, stepped forward to face her first class in 1986, she had 40 eager pupils to instruct. 28 years later, Kentaro struggles to teach a class of 130 pupils in Kampala Capital City Council Authority Kamwokya Primary School.
Schools in Kabale have not received their UPE grants for the second term, which closes this week. Head teachers under their umbrella body, Kabale Municipal Council Head Teacherâ€™s Association say the delayed release of funds has crippled their activities and affected the quality of learning.
Government has dropped school grading system for all primary and secondary schools across the country. In a directive issued to the education ministry on 6th May 2014, the ministry of financed had noted that since 1997 when the last grading was done, there had been no review and this had affected the salary structure and access to payroll by many teachers and head teachers.
The ministry of Public Service says it will on June 30th clear salary arrears for teachers who have not been paid since January. Samuel Eitu, the head of human resources at the ministry said yesterday while meeting the teachers from Gulu district that the salary irregularities will end with this financial year.
James Tweheyo, the General Secretary of Uganda National Teachersâ€™ Union-UNATU says they are eagerly awaiting the realization of an outstanding undertaking by government to improve teacherâ€™s welfare. He says that after a series of failed promises, the teachers will hold the government accountable if the money is not allocated in the budget.
UNATU says at the height of their sit-down strike and negotiations in 2012, they demanded that each teacher be given his/her pay-slip. Schools were also expected to be provided with teachersâ€™ payrolls. James Tweheyo, the UNATU Secretary General, says this would help in rooting out ghost teachers and those whose salaries were illegally deducted.
On Monday, angry civil servants together with their children stormed the office of the deputy Chief Administrative Christopher Oketayot demanding for an explanation. Oketayot had to call the LC 5 chairman Abdul Nadduli who pleaded with them to return at work as government address their grievances but they vowed not work until their salaries are paid.
Lam Eugene Okumu, the chairperson of Kitgum Boda Boda Association says unreliable salary payment is to blame for the trend. He says the teachers are those that borrowed salary loans from different commercial banks and were struggling to pay them back using their salaries.