Demand for 100% pay rise, lack of accommodation in schools, delayed salaries and allegations of defilement against some teachers dominated speeches during the World Teacher\'s day celebrations in Lwengo district. In Lwengo, the celebrations were held at MN Unique Hotel in Lwengo town council on Monday. Most of the speeches by the guests rotated around the teachers demand for 100% pay rise and late payments.
Moses Nsereko Ssebuliba, the Chairperson Uganda National Teachers Union-UNATU Lwengo branch says although government gave them some increment this financial year, there is need for another increment. He said despite the fact that some teachers now earn up to Shillings 400,000 each month, the money hasn\'t changed their lives given the high cost of living. According to Ssebuliba, ten teachers in Lwengo quit teaching annually due to poor pay.
He says majority of the teachers have opted to join boda boda transport since it is more lucrative compared to teaching. Ssebuliba cites the examples of Job Kasigala and Richard Ssenyonga, who quit teaching at Kasese primary school and joined the boda boda transport business. He blames some of the problems on the absence of a single stop center for teacher\'s matters.
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The teachers also note that lack of staff accommodation at their work stations has greatly impacted on their concentration. Richard Ntulume, the Lwengo Resident District Commissioner noted with the concern a decline in teaching ethics. According to Ntulume, it is very painful that several teachers are involved in defiling their pupils. He notes that in September, Police recorded 12 defilement cases 8 of them involving teachers.
He says the involvement of teachers in defilement cases is a threat to the education sector. George Mutabaazi, the Lwengo LC5 Chairman warned all teachers involved in defilement saying the long arm of the law will catch up with them. He castigated some parents for conniving with Police and perpetrators to frustrate prosecution.
Mutabaazi also called for a review of salaries of all civil servants including police and health workers among others.
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Doreen Ankunda, the Lwengo District Education officer allayed the concerns of the RDC saying Police is handling all the defilement cases to ensure the implicated teachers are prosecuted.
On the issue of delayed payment of the teacher\'s September salaries, Ankunda explained that they received only Shillings 600 million instead 1billion Shillings, which affected payments.
She however disclosed that they communicated the problem to the Finance Ministry that has promised to disburse the remaining money by the close of this week.