5th October is a special day dedicated to teachers for their contribution to the society. With a motto because we are the nation is it was interesting teacher enthusiasm walking to Kagote Adventist Hall in a hall that shinning with orange and black, Kabarole district in the mood of making the world appreciate their contribution as well as share their challenges. No wonder the pupils of Mugusu Primary school in their song they emphasized that teachers matter and they are a source of knowledge. It was also not surprising for the Kabarole district to acknowledge the contribution of teachers from class room to the community level despite the challenges that they face like high enrollment, lack of classrooms yet they have continued to work very hard. It’s not surprising that function was among others attended by Member of Parliament Burashya county Kabarole, the LC5 Chairperson Kabarole, the inspector of schools, religious leaders, pupils, community member, UNATU members and Teachers. Though the number was overwhelmingly of about 600 people at least every one was served with refreshment and a meal. Thanks to the facilitation by UNATU Kabarole and CFSU
The celebrations was a platform for teachers to air out their major challenges like some teachers who were removed from the pay roll in the process of cleaning the pay rolls as well as non confirmation of teachers where the district chairperson responded that that 99% of the teachers removed from the pay roll were put back and promised that by the end of October all teachers will be on pay roll but can only claim their arrears. It was also interesting to for the chairperson to share that the district spent the month of December on mass confirmation of teachers.
Nevertheless Ayibo Bernard, the regional coordinator Uganda National teachers union emphasized that that despite the challenges teachers are facing they are still committed to the mission of promoting and protecting the social, intellectual and profession interests of teachers and deliver quality education through four core strategic areas of improving a strong and credible teachers union, improving teacher professionalism, social economic status and Morale, improving quality of public education and learners and teachers social economic Development. With the core strategic directions who can say that teachers do not really matter, this was well explained in their motto” because we are, the nation is, the nation is, because we are”. One wonders why do they remain the list paid profession, why pay science teachers more salary that ARTS teachers yet they go through the same class. Does this mean that the ARTS teachers do not matter! Then why do we have them if they do not matter.
I was shocked that a class teacher was advocating to be paid 540,000 yet the doctors increased to 2,500,000 yet it it’s the teachers who make the Doctors. The question remains whether the government of Uganda will honor their request because teachers make a nation because this pay involves daily transport otherwise they will reach the schools late or tired or both, lunch, accommodation because the schools have no staff houses and medical fees for the family which is not provided for in most schools. I am sure if 540,000 will be enough to meet the daily demand compared to the cost of items these days.
It was on this same function that computer for schools a partner of RWECO in a project of Improving literacy and proficiency levels in English Language by enhancing communication skills in primary school pupils in the Rwenzori Region was able to provide gifts for the best schools in to 13 primary schools that had excelled in annual writing, drawing, and reading competition The best schools were named as Haibale Primary school, St. Jude Primary school, Kigarama primary school, Rwimi primary school, Mugusu and Karamba Primary school. The teachers were able to showcase to the teachers, community members, local leaders and parents their writing, drawing, speaking and listening skills and other competences. Three staff from RWECO participated in the function.