In June, the Monitor newspaper reported that some 2,000 teachers had turned down government job offers in Uganda. The article echoes the surprise of the Ministry of Education on the apparent rejection of these posts. EI affiliate the Ugandan National Teachers’ Union (UNATU) has since reacted to these misleading statements.
James Tweheyo, Vice-President of UNATU together with the President, Margaret Rwabushaija (left), General Secretary Teopista Mayanja (second from left) and NEC member Josephine Nabuyungo (right).
Recently, a lengthy ban on the recruitment of teachers in Uganda was lifted. This decision was welcomed by UNATU and its members.
However, the allegation that teachers recruited for new jobs have been rejecting offers, and that children are consequently not being taught, is refuted by UNATU. ‘This is far from it’ says Vice Chairman Tweheyo James. ‘The Ministry of Education & Sports and Education Service Commission ought to realize that there are teachers in schools (who are) teaching but (have) not (been) recruited.’
Mr. Tweheyo explains that many of these teachers have applied for positions, but have yet to be considered. Thus, as teachers without a proper status, they have ‘borne all the hardships … of raising institutions to where they are now.’ Furthermore ‘some of them have spent up to 5 years in schools …(off) the payroll ... working and surviving on hand outs by Boards and P.T.As (Parents Teachers Associations).’
In light of this situation, UNATU have advised the Ministry to look into the dossiers of these teachers and to appoint them before using up scarce resources on recruiting new teachers who they can not account for. ‘Let inspectors be facilitated to go and inspect these teachers, submit their reports and the Ministry and Education Service Commission use these reports as a basis. After all, this will not only be rewarding, but also motivating (for) those teachers who have withstood the difficulties of working for little or no pay but sustained the education of the children.'
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