Richard Atubi and Paul Opio, teachers of various schools in the district backed their representative Okiria and informed the minister that the meager salaries which always delays makes their families unable to purchase even a mere coffin. Hellen Catherine Atim said even their clans are too poor to arrange a decent burial when a teacher dies.
After living in poverty for years as they serve the nation, the teachers in Serere District are desperately requesting to at east be spared from starting the journey into the next world in the same misery they have lived.
They have now summoned the courage to put their dying wish to the Members of the next Parliament -MPs who will be elected in this week's 2021 General Elections, to lobby Government for teachers to at least be given decent burials. Unable to put aside anything even for a decent burial, the teachers are now pleading for at least a coffin, which would enable them to work harder knowing that at least their burial won't be so embarrassing.
Speaking on behalf of the other teachers, Lambert Okiria, the head teacher of Abuket Primary School in Kyere Sub County noted that after they have served Government for several years, teachers fear to be buried according to their economic status and would wish to be buried like their better-off counterparts in public service in the country who get a decent sendoff. If this wish is granted by the next parliament, the teachers of Serere pledge that they would be better motivated to do their work when they are still alive.
Over 137 teachers of Kateta and Kyere Sub Counties were meeting the State Minister for Fisheries, Hellen Adoa Abeku at Serere, when they poured out their hearts to her.
Their spokesperson, Okiria, decried the living conditions of the teachers, and asked that they also be accorded some financial support to enable them engage in poultry and piggery to supplement their meagre salaries.
//cue in…’’it has been… //cue out.. and down begging..”//
Richard Atubi and Paul Opio, all teachers of various schools in the district backed Okiria saying that the meager salaries which always delays makes them unable to purchase even a mere coffin.
//cue in…we choose poultry… //cue out…poultry we are keeping..”//
Hellen Catherin Atim, a teacher of Olupe Primary School noted that some of their clans are too poor to support the burial of teachers and she has failed to educate her boy child because the Government has not supported them with income generating activities.
//cue in…”some teachers even… //cue out… to bury them…”//
Other concerns raised by teachers included the coding of community schools, teachers corporate wear and transport facilitation during transfers.
But Adoa who doubles as the Serere District woman MP promised to ensure that she lobbies for the teachers welfare to be improved if she is voted back in this year’s elections.
//cue in…yes we can…. //cue out…. support with us…”//
In June 2020, Government officials announced that Covid-19 pandemic, floods and landslides had forced government to push the planned pay rise for civil servants to 2023.
Authorities in Public Service docket revealed that only public universities academic staff will get salary increment in the forthcoming financial year 2020/2021.
Catherine Bitarakwate, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Public Service, told journalists in Kampala that they needed Shs350b for the salary increment of all public servants. There are 319,000 civil servants in the country.