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    OPINION: Tears Of Teachers In Uganda: Help Us Please! No One Is Well Since We All Stopped Earning In February….

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    A teacher instructing a pupil (Photo: Courtesy)

    Fellow Ugandans,

    Irrespective of where you reside, rural or urban, Colleagues in the Teaching Fraternity, other professionals, ladies and gentlemen.

    I sincerely salute you all.

    I am exceeding honoured to share this a voice which I believe will be a significant addition to the rest of the written text that have so far been circulated or forwarded to perhaps quiet authorities.

    My name is Kalibo Dan. I am a male teacher in one the Prominent Primary Schools in a certain Division, Kampala District.

    Before this school which changed my negative experience, I have worked with three renowned Primary Schools in the Central Districts of Uganda, and closely associated with over 50 Private and government aided Primary and 10 secondary Schools in the Central, Western, Eastern and Northern Uganda. In addition, I have had chance to interact with over 5000 teachers on my social media platforms and in the “job search” environment.

    I have also had chance to interact with many people across Professional Boards of qualification and if I am to mention a summary of my message, this mother profession, Teaching, is in a total mess.

    This post intends to relay the outcry that the Teachers of our motherland, Uganda have as of now.

    1. Let me hope our leaders have not forgotten that whoever went to school went through a Teacher’s Hand, including the “scientist” who of late has become part of the lyrics in our *Noble* new song of war led by our President “THE FIGHT AGAINST CORONAVIRUS”

    I want quote once again that the ROOSTERS of today were once eggs that were carefully handled at incubation to become so.

    This clearly tells me that whatever we want as a better standard of our tender nation should begin today.

    “A better and committed scientist or Doctor you need tomorrow should be handled today at school level, right from Kindergarten to University” all those are levels under a teacher, irrespective of what they teach(Science or Arts).

    This drives my point home, a scientist needs to communicate findings in a precise and exact manner. All observations are communicated and this is usually the work of basic art subjects. I am a primary teacher and I teach all subjects, but I feel challenged when I hear the professional beginning to give birth to sub-groups, that not only sound by name, but also by the privilege settings.

    My major points are not basically on the disparities in my profession. They are also in relation to other professions. Teachers belong to formal employment systems. In this testing time of COVID-19 we have had a need to have them mentioned in anticipation of when schools will resume. Some components of the private sector and its employees have been appreciated partly, but when it comes to private schools as yet another component, not a single word has been heard according to the utterances made by different officers in response to COVID-19 response so far.

    The hint of the matter above can be made categorically clear to stand in the ongoing help given in form of home supplies and food. No mention of a teacher in a private school has ever been heard. Before I put a request on behalf of over 2000 teachers, let me remind our leaders of the following:

    1. All schools and institutions of learning broke off on 20.03.2020 by noon.
    2. All private schools and institutions depend on fees collections. These collections always strike 50% when the parents have visited their children at school (for primary and secondary), others clear fees towards the end of the month. All these had not happened by the closedown.
    3. All private institutions have infrastructure managed and developed by the proprietor(s) who also need to collect something in form a profit for their own families and life.
    4. All private schools pay tax to the government.
    5. Most private schools operate on mercy to acquire school dues from their clients(parents). Such schools even fail to pay their teachers during holidays, and they don’t have a full operational legal framework in the management of their schools. In this case, many teachers come and leave due to lack of formal employment procedures, which even see them miss their salaries.

    As I write now, many teachers are saying that schools had not yet paid them for the arrears of February, March came in when we broke off, April ended and now May is in a cue. How are those teachers surviving?

    The above crisis cuts across. There are instructions which pay teachers per lesson especially secondary school teachers, private tutors and lecturers. Have our leaders tried to think about how those teachers are living with their families?

    1. In a simple summary, teachers, especially those working with private schools, and those in government aided schools but working on PTA basis need great help in form of home supplies and food.

    I am reliably informed by some of my colleagues that some parents can easily be persuaded to host private teachers for hire at their individual homes. Since the fear to die of hunger is close to the mind of teachers instead of catching the Novel Coronavirus, they will opt for that and the two parties will not have any safe landing, since the virus could be eagerly waiting for that opportune moment.

    7 *Call for help!*

    Dear Hon Minister of Education and First lady, Maama Janet Kataha Museveni and our dear President of the Republic of Uganda, I am using the simple voice to reach you through this simple means, accord us the necessary help! No one is well since we all stopped earning in February, even those in government schools.

    We have begun to admire what we didn’t qualify for like being DJ’s, Journalists, Drivers, telcom service providers (who at times are even our risk to meet fraudulent businesses) Nurses, etc. because they have been supported, yet we’re here starving and they went all through our Mighty Profession, Teaching. Please reach out for TEACHERS!

    1. *Prayer*

    The COVID-19 Pandemic situation has helped us to learn bigger lessons circumstantially, and we need to even think about our Education system and assessment so that the panic and worries lessen the next time we’re faced with the same or related challenges as a nation.

    We pray to the Almighty God to give you more wisdom as our leaders, and to grant our nation a wider gap to escape the projected effects of this invisible enemy!

    “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there,” quotes Lewis’s Carrol of Alice. Indeed we don’t know but we shall overcome!

    I am KALIBO DAN

    FOR GOD AND MY COUNTRY

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    EDUCATION

    Most Universities No Longer Produce Competent Lawyers – LDC Director Cries Out Over Increased Failure Rate…

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    LDC Director Frank Othembi

    The Director of Law Development Centre (LDC) Frank Nigel Othembi has attributed the increased failure rate to the poor standards of universities accredited to teach law in Uganda.

    According to Othembi, only four out of the 15 accredited universities that teach Law in Uganda are in a position to produce competent lawyers.

    Othembi made the revelation while appearing before the legal parliamentary affairs committee to defend the 2022/2023 ministerial policy statement and the current performance of LDC which has recently declined with unexplained failure rates with only 10% getting the required mark in the previous academic year.

    “There are 15 universities accredited to teach law and honestly, not all of them are doing it because, in my view out of the 15 universities, there are only 4 that I can say are teaching law in the law it should be taught,” Othembi revealed.

    Othembi further noted that the lifting of the pre-entry exam into the bar course has affected the quality of students they admit into LDC.

    Othembi said the high failure rates cuts across Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania and have been attributed to poor quality students sent to LDC by the diverse learning institutions.

    Uganda’s LDC released results for the academic year 2019/2020 showed a 90 percent failure rate which left the country wondering what had gone wrong at the Makerere based law centre.

    Records at LDC also showed that out of a total of 1,682 law students who sat for the exams, 70 percent partially failed with re-takes whereas 20% of the lawyers totally failed the examinations and were discontinued.

    According to records, the list of top universities teaching Law in Uganda include; Makerere University School of Law, Bishop Stuart University, Faculty of Law, Busoga University, Faculty of Law, Gulu University, Faculty of Law among others.

     

    By Kobusiinge Monica

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    EDUCATION

    Police Tells Parents To Report Schools Overcharging UNEB Fees…

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    Uganda Police Spokesperson Fred Enanga has warned school proprietors against charging fees not prescribed by UNEB.

    “They stipulated the fees. They have asked us to come out and warn school proprietors who are still overcharging,” he emphasized.

    “We want to inform parents that for PLE, it is UGX 34000, UCE is UGX164,000 and UGX 186000 for UACE. All parents who have paid excess money should report to UNEB or CID headquarters,” Enanga said.

     

    By Hope Kalamira

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    EDUCATION

    Busoga University Officially Declared Public University…

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    The government has declared Busoga University a public institution ending years of wrangles for the management of the university between the Anglican Church and Central government.

    In a bid to end wrangles, the Archbishop, Dr. Samuel Kazimba Mugalu signed a Memorandum of Understanding on behalf of the church and State Minister for Education Dr. John Chrysostom Muyingo represented government.

    The occasion was also witnessed by the First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of East Africa Community Affairs, Rebecca Kadaga.

    During her address, Kadaga said this was a happy day for people of Busoga, students, the business community and the government.

    “The government taking over the university has a multiplier effect. I think you have seen the growth of university of Mbarara, you have seen the growth of Gulu University and others (that are) also growing,” she said.

    Kadaga added that she can confirm that Busoga university is going to be different. She called upon the people of Uganda to invest in real estate around the university because the children are coming and the lecturers will need a place to stay.

    During the signing of the final take over agreement, Dr. Muyingo disclosed that universities in a given areas help foster economic development by creating concentrated clusters of human settlement which result in increased trade thus Busoga region will reap the benefits.

    Dr. Muyingo promised that government will settle the university debts.

    “After signing I can now go with confidence to Parliament and ask for money to develop the university. Government has a grand plan of establishing a public university in all the 18 regions of Uganda in order to spur social and economic development through equipping Ugandans with necessary employable skills,” he divulged.

     

    By Hope Kalamira

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