By Spy Uganda
Parliament stayed debate on a ministerial statement on cash transfer to teachers in private primary and secondary schools demanding for a report on the earlier Covid-19 relief to other vulnerable groups.
The statement which was presented by the Minister of Gender, Labour and social Development, Hon Betty Amongi provided details on government’s plans to help teachers who were rendered vulnerable since the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic.
“The education sector remained closed. By the time schools started reopening on 10 January 2022, teachers in private primary and secondary schools had missed income for close to two years,” Amongi said adding that, ‘’while the vast majority of sectors fully or partially reopened and many people returned to work, the teachers didn’t, making it difficult for them to provide for their families’’.
Amongi said that eligible teachers are those not on government payroll, registered or licenced by the Ministry of Education and Sports and have have proof of submission of application for registration/licencing.
MPs were not convinced with the criteria of selecting the teachers saying that most of the teachers are in rural areas and have no access to electricity and computers to register themselves.
Hon Roland Ndyomugenyi, (Indep., Rukiga County) said that the Ministry of Education needs to work with the Ministry of Gender to find the number of teachers in private schools.
“The challenge for teachers to be registered by the ministry is restrictive and unfair. I suggest that the ministry resorts to manual registration in a book per district so that all teachers are catered for,” he said.
Buyaga County MP, Hon Barnabas Tinkasiimire said that most of the teachers who teach well are not qualified and should be considered.
“Most of the teachers are not registered yet they do a great job. They teach well but they need to be captured. I suggest that the money is increased and it is received in two instalments,” Tinkasiimire said.
Hon Laura Kanushu who represents Persons with Disabilities said that teachers who cater for children with disability are ignored yet they do most of the hard work.
“They need to increase money for the teachers who deal with special needs children because they do a lot of work and spend more time on these children and their services are not recognised,” Kanusu said.
This prompted Tororo District Woman MP, Hon Sarah Opendi to move a motion halting debate on the statement saying that there is need to look at the report on previous Covid-19 relief programs.
“Rule 59 (C) allows us to adjourn the debate and wait for the report from the committee’s findings of the beneficiaries of Covid-19 relief funds before we conclude debate of the funds for the teachers.
The Deputy Speaker Anita Among who chaired plenary sitting said there is unfairness in the support rendered to the teachers.
“You cannot give a teacher shs100,000 when you also gave the bodabodas shs100,000. I also agree with the members that we go for manual registration of teachers instead of the online version,” she said.