The teachers note despite continuous promises made by the government in 2017 to date about increasing the salaries of science teachers, date no money has been allocated to this cause.
A copy of the letter addressed to the Ministry of Public Service
Science Teachers under the Uganda Professional Science Teachers' Union will lay down their tools at the beginning of the next school term.
In a letter addressed to the Ministry of Education and that of Public Service, the
teachers accused the government of failing to increase the salaries of science
teachers and improving their working conditions.
The teachers note despite continuous promises made by the government in 2017 to
date about increasing the salaries of science teachers, date no money has been
allocated to this cause.
According to the
teachers, from the 2018/2019 financial year budget to the most recent 2021/2022
around 239 billion shillings have been allocated to increase the salaries of
teachers but this money is always diverted to other purposes.
"Government provided 400bn in the budget to enhance salaries for all
scientists including Science teachers and medical workers for FY 2022/2023 as
per the policy approved by cabinet and directed by H.E The President. In this
fund, 111bn had been earmarked to enhance salaries for Science teachers and 27
billion for scientists in tertiary institutions.
We have noted with concern
that the Ministry of Public Service, has yet again excluded Scientists in all
Post Primary Education Institutions and has instead diverted the money that
was earmarked to enhance the salaries of these scientists to boost salary
enhancement for other sectors," the letter reads in part.
One of the sectors that
will be getting salary enhancements is medical doctors following a strike last
year that lasted for more than two months.
Vincent Elong, the
National Chairperson of the Union says it is unfair that the government wants
to increase the salaries of doctors yet the teachers are earning peanuts.
According to Elong, the
government has promised to increase their salaries gradually until all graduate
science teachers earn 4 million shillings and grade V teachers at 3 million
On whether the strike won’t
affect learners who just resumed learning following a two-year hiatus due to
the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown of education institutions in the country, Elong
says the government is to blame.
"We as teachers
have been patient. We have listened to the government and waited even as other
people were striking during the lockdown but the government has failed to fulfill its promises. At this point, it is not us to stop the strike but our
employer government," he said.
In addition to
increasing their salaries, the teachers want the Ministry of Education to
implement the promotional ladder as stipulated in the Teachers' Scheme of
According to them, many science teachers who are also school and
district administrators have not been promoted for more than 10 years despite
being graduates. The teachers also want the government to avail all science
teachers with protective gear for use during practical lessons where many are
exposed to dangerous chemicals.
They also want the government
to create a special salary scale for Laboratory Science Technicians who work in
school settings. They argue that laboratory technicians in other science filed
share a salary scale yet the ones in schools who are required to have the same
qualifications as other laboratory technicians do not.
the teachers, the lack of a salary scale exposes the technicians to poor pay.