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



    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!





    SMACK Parents Petition IGG Over Headmaster Bro Simon Mpanga’s Appointment…



    Bro. Simon Mpanga

    A section of parents of St Mary’s College Kisubi have petitioned the Inspectorate of Government (IGG) to investigate the appointment of Bro. Simon Mpanga, who was recently posted to the 117-year-old institute.

    St. Mary’s College Kisubi is a private, boarding middle and high school located in Wakiso District in the Central Region of Uganda. Established in 1906, it has a population of 1,400 students.

    In a strongly worded petition seen by this publication, the concerned parents accuse the headmaster of among other ills, grand theft, being a con act and being part of a tribal-oriented cartel that is hell-bent on defying the Ministry of Education’s choice for headmaster.

    “We got interested in the goings on at SMACK once it came to might that a cartel of Baganda hell bent on seeing their colleague Bro. Simon Mpanga appointed the HM.  The cartel is headed by Dr. Kasozi Mulindwa of Uganda Management Institute (UMI) and the school lawyer and former PTA chairman, a one Kaaya,” the petition reads in part.

    They detail that attempts by the Superior Provincial, Brother Casio to thwart Brother Mpanga’s appointment for being a renowned embarrassment in the circles of Brothers hit a dead end.

    “The cartel used their relationship with Archbishop Ssemwogerere to arm twist the ministry into playing the religious card yet they are tribalists hellbent on having one of their own eat with them,” they complain.

    Why Bro. Mpanga is the wrong choice.

    In their petition, they accuse Bro. Mpanga of conniving to obtain money from a section of individuals by false pretense.

    “ He borrowed shs3 million from an illiterate individual who mysteriously died three weeks after he demanded for his money.  As if that wasn’t bad enough, he conned Kabojja School of shs11 million, as confirmed by Bro. Godfrey Lutaaya,” they write.

    They also single out a litany of many other cases involving money swindling that hang heavily on his neck.

    For instance,  they write that while at Uganda Martyrs Secondary School Rubaga, he was physically assaulted by students after their money for a party went missing, he also recently purchased beds from local welders  for the students at a cost of sh200,000 but instead billed the school sh450,000 for each decker.

    In a more damning indictment, they accuse Bro. Mpanga and Dr. Kasozi Mulindwa of withdrawing over shs500 million of college funds between December 23, 2022 under the guise of construction and repairs.

    “To justify the expenditures, they went as far as painting trenches and manhole covers. There is need for an urgent value for money audit” they reckon, adding that similar transgressions saw him chased at Kasasa by the then headmaster Bro. Lubwama Tony.

    Poor management is his forte  

    The complainants also find fault with Bro. Mpanga’s management style.

    “He has no track record of any successful management to qualify him to be headmaster of SMACK. To place him in charge is a very big mistake,” they state.

    They claim that he has ignored traditional structures he found in the school and chosen to only work with three people who are his stooges.  He has failed to come up with a budget to run the school and his preferred style of management is through intimidation.

    “He has promised to ensure a purge on all staff brought in or thought to be loyal to the former Headmaster.  He also influenced the election of the current head prefect as he insisted it had to be a Muganda. He never sits in the office and is always out transacting deals,” they say.

    They also accuse him of ringfencing any juicy deal in the school. For instance, the recent S1 admissions were solely handed by him.

    “Not even the DOS nor the committee that handles admissions were involved. In the recent S5 admissions, a mere messenger, Francis Kasozi was in charge of allocating subject combinations of students,” they say

    They also say that despite knowing that the school is overcrowded with ancient structures, he recently admitted 550 students to senior one and 120 in senior five, a record in the school.

    He personally involves in the minutest of purchases for the school. Case in point, he is the designated supplier of matooke, fish, fruits and vegetables. His has side stepped the school’s contracted suppliers and as a result, spends more time in the market than at school.

    The parents also have a dossier on him. They say despite his vows to celibacy, he is a known womanizer who stealthily takes women to his residence under the blanket of darkness.

    “He impregnated a tea girl called Teddy. She used to cook for the brothers. He caused her to be chased away and has since abandoned her to her own devices. Kisubi is owned by Brothers of Christian Instruction but Mpanga represents Christian destruction,” they say.

    When we contacted the IGG’s spokesperson, she confirmed receipt of the said petition last week (10th March, 2023).  She said they would give a detailed comment after perusing the file to corroborate the complaints.



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    Teachers, Students Advised On Relevance Of Mental Health In Schools



    Teachers and students from various primary and secondary schools have been equipped with knowledge on relevance of mental health in schools.

    This was during the first inter-school dialogue on mental health held at Hana International School on March 10th, 2023.

    Peace Busingye, the principal education officer in the department of guidance and counselling of Ministry of education and sports, urged learners to always open up whenever they are challenged so that they are helped.

    “We urge you learners where you have a challenge to please come out and talk. As Ministry of education we are happy that learners even from primary can come up and speak about mental health,” she said.

    Busingye also called upon teachers to always know the genesis of challenges learners face before judging and punishing them.

    Rev. Nathan Mugalu Balirwana, a priest and counselling psychologist advised teachers to maintain a good sexual life, avoid engaging in relationships with minors and/or inferiors.

    Balirwana noted that some teachers and learners use drugs to cope up with pressure. For instance, he says some teachers use energy boosters and alcohol to be able to mark thousands of scripts.

    Balirwana also advised female teachers to desist from comparing themselves with learners as this makes them develop biases towards learners who seem to be more prettier than they are.

    Kahundr Shamsa Marian, prefect in charge of ethics and Intergrity at Lowell girls school advised fellow students to engage in productive activities and always open up.

    “Having suffered from mental health issue. I do support mental health because it affected me as a leader…I found multiple ways of relieving my stress such as writing poetry. I got someone to speak to; when you get someone to speak to it reduces your depression and anxiety, “she said.

    The inter-school dialogue on mental health was organised under the theme: Relevance of mental health in schools.


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    Former Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda Installed As Chancellor Gulu University



    Former Prime Minister and current special envoy for special duties in the office of president Museveni Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda has been officially installed as the third Chancellor of Gulu University.

    Vice President Jessica Alupo who is also the Chancellor at St Lawrence University presided over the installation Rugunda as Chancellor.

    The installation was on Friday February 24th, 2023 during Gulu University’s 18th graduation ceremony. Rugunda succeeds Prof. Frederick Kayanja.

    After being installed as Chancellor, Rugunda conferred academic awards to 1,270 students. 1,060 of these were bachelor’s degrees, 67 Masters, 130 Postgraduate diplomas, 8 diplomas and five doctorates.

    Rugunda promised to build onto the achievements and foundation of his predecessors in order to further develop Gulu University.

    “We will build on your achievement and on the foundation that you have played in order to collectively take Gulu University to a greater height,” Rugunda said.

    Ruhakana Rugunda’s installation as Chancellor Gulu University came a day after Jessica Alupo being installed as the Chancellor at St Lawrence University.

    Prof. George Ladaah Openjuru was also installed as the Vice Chancellor for his second term.


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