UGANDA NATIONAL TEACHERS’ UNION (UNATU)
3RD AUGUST, 2016
Today many Public universities will not operate after the non-teaching staff resumed their strike following government’s failure to honor its commitment to clear all the arrears and effect a pay rise. A point in case is the Makerere University non-teaching staff who have laid down their tools as of 1st August after Government failing to effect a pay rise of UGX Shs39bn. UNATU would like to inform the non-teaching staff within the public Universities of Uganda, that we stand with them during this crucial time as they try to voice out their work related challenges that are affecting their welfare as workers. UNATU reminds the Government of Uganda that Quality Education can only be achieved if all actors in the education system are well facilitated and motivated to carry out their duties.
We therefore call upon all Government agencies, stakeholders and politicians to expeditiously intervene in the matter as this standoff will affect the new learners joining these institutes of Higher learning. We also urge Government to continue discussions and developing strategies on how to implement some of its commitments. This starts by honoring its commitment to the non-teaching staff within our public Universities. Additionally issues of salary harmonisation should be prioritised. For example the establishment of a salary review Commission.
• Teachers’ SACCO funds: As UNATU we draw your attention to the fact that the Uganda Teachers’ SACCOs Union has only received UGX 5.8 billion despite the agreement made with Government that teachers manage their funds. These funds have been disbursed to 36 teachers’ SACCOs (a total of 2,834 individual teachers served) as loans. However, Micro Finance Support Centre has deliberately refused to release the UGX 9.8billion funds under their control. One wonders why MFSC is deliberately taking advantage of teachers.
• Teacher performance: We have identiied that Teacher absenteeism is on the increase, especially in inaccessible areas within the country. The Government should address the challenges teachers are facing in such areas to reduce the absenteeism.
• Curriculum review: The Government (under the ministry of Education and Sports) should critically examine its curriculum with great emphasis on the controversial comprehensive Sex Education that is taught with in the primary levels.
• School Strikes: We are concerned as UNATU on the multitude of school uprisings and strikes in the country. A number of schools have gone on strike and something must be done urgently to improve on the situation. These strikes which mainly occur during second term has seen more than 15 schools being closed across the country like Mvara and Cornerstone secondary school that striked last month. These uprisings by students also have a tendency to spread to neighbouring schools for example in the case of Mandela Comprehensive and Ocoko Modern Secondary schools in Arua district which were closed on Monday 1st August.. We call upon all the head teachers, teachers and other school stakeholders to be a little vigilant and get closer to the students to avoid this life threatening practice to continue.