The 5th October is an annual event which is observed internationally as World Teachers’ Day across the globe. This year’s World Teachers’ Day in Koboko district was celebrated in Kuluba sub-county. The celebration held at Ifoko Primary School impressed the local residents. The teachers majestically marched through the streets of Keri town in their beautiful cooperate UNATU uniforms attracting the local residents to join them in the marching. The celebration also interrupted business at Keri main market for about thirty minutes. The LC 1 secretary for security at Oraba boarder post Sgele Kenyi could not hide his excitement; after seeing the teachers, he promised he would send one of his children to join a teaching profession. Meanwhile, Awongo Stephen Sunday Gloria and Mercy Margaret all students of Millennium College Koboko also expressed desires to become teachers.
However, much as the celebration was impressive, there were a number of issues raised by Uganda National Teachers’ Union (UNATU) officials which hinder teachers from enjoying their work in the district. Koboko district UNATU sub branch chairperson Ajidiru Siama outlined some key issues such as; unexplained deletion of teachers’ names from payroll, non-payment of teachers’ salary arrears and lack of promotion for teachers.
Additionally, the chairperson of Koboko municipality Mrs. Anguparu Juliet also stated that whenever a teacher is befallen by unforeseen circumstances such as death, it is in most cases rare for any official from the district or municipality to support the family. However, the District Education Officer for special needs, Mr. Moro Paul, was quick to acknowledge that there are changes of salary irregularities in the district which he said is difficult to know where the problem lies. But, the Assistant Inspector of Schools Mrs. Rita Harriet who represented the Chief Administrative Officer Koboko in response attributed the issue of missing salaries to new technology in the system which the human resource officer might not be well versed with. She adds that some teachers sit on their problems without presenting them in time.
Koboko municipality Inspector of Schools Mr. Asiki Michael however challenged the UNATU officials not to capitalize their issues on the improvement of the welfare of the teachers alone but also enhance the capacity of teachers by offering them trainings in professional development.
According to the message circulated by the UNATU Secretariat on the World Teachers’ Day, a lot of effort was made to ensure that the status and morale of teachers as key to quality education is improved in areas of salary harmonization, high pupil-teacher ratio, use of unqualified teachers, precarious contracts, career progression, difficulties in retirement issues and dignity in deaths among others. This year’s World Teacher’s Day was celebrated under the theme, “The Right to Education Means the Right to Qualified Teacher”.
Ayuga Salmon – Koboko District
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