Baguma says the government should get back to the drawing table and design a new approach that will encourage the teachers to voluntarily embrace COVID-19 vaccination instead of piling on them pressure.
Uganda National Union of Teachers-UNATU is opposed to the
directive from the Education and Sports Ministry compelling all teachers to
take the COVID-19 jab.
Filbert Baguma, the UNATU General Secretary, says that
although the idea of vaccinating all teachers is good for their own safety, it
is not right to coerce them to take the jab.
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Baguma says the government should get back to the drawing table and design a
new approach that will encourage the teachers to voluntarily embrace COVID-19
vaccination instead of piling on them pressure.
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UNATU’s concern stems from a directive issued by the Education
Ministry, Permanent Secretary, Alex Kakooza to all teachers to get vaccinated to
stop the spread of the pandemic in schools, amidst resistance from some
The directive stemmed from the poor turn up of teachers at the
COVID-19 vaccination centers across the country. Only 8,517 out of the 550,000
teachers expected had shown up for the jab as of last week.
As a result, different local governments set timelines for
the vaccination of the teachers. For instance in teachers in Kampala central
have two days (Wednesday and Thursday) to show up at Bat valley primary school
Headteachers have also issued timetables indicating the time
the teachers should appear for the vaccination.
Willy Turyahikahe, a teacher at Nakasero primary school
notes that instead of forcing teachers to go for vaccination, the government
should carry out a sensitisation campaign to attract the target group.
says that currently, teachers are suspicious of the exercise give the
information being shared regarding the vaccines.
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Timothy Ssali, another teacher from Nakasero says that forcing them to take the
COVID-19 jab can also land the government in legal battles.
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Ronah Kamusiime, a teacher at East Kololo primary school, says that the
government has been tagging teacher vaccination on reopening schools. To her,
the explanation beats logic since the parents who spend time with the children
are not vaccinated.
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However, some teachers blame their colleagues for being
irresponsible. Amina Mukasa Buyinza, the Headteacher Kololo High School notes
that before reopening schools, teachers were asking how the government would
ensure their safety but they are now being driven by ‘street talk’ about the