By Spy Uganda
The Minister for Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Judith Nabakooba, has urged teachers and residents of Katakwi district to endeavour to keep the girl child in school. This, she said, would help reduce on chances of the girls acquiring HIV and avoid early pregnancies.
“Keeping girls in school is very effective in fighting challenges such as early pregnancies and spread of HIV,” she said, adding that, “research has shown that if girls remain in school up to higher levels, chances of them contracting HIV reduce by 50 per cent.”
Nabakooba also emphasized the need to fight absenteeism in public schools among both teachers and students, which, according to her, leads to a decline in education standards.
“Let’s avoid all situations that would lead to absenteeism in school through means such as negotiations,” she said.
“Industrial actions such as keeping away from school only weakens our calling and purpose in life. I call upon you to always find other ways of solving your challenges other than staying away from class.”
Nabakooba made the remarks during the world teacher day celebrations which were held at Apuuton primary school in Katakwi district in Eastern Uganda.
During the event, the district chairperson for Uganda National Teachers Union (UNATU), Okot John, expressed displeasure on behalf of teachers for what he called “discrimination among teachers” by the Ugandan government.
“Every teacher deserves to be respected and paid equally regardless of their category. I mean whether they are teaching sciences or arts,” he said.
Nabakooba assured teachers that there is no government attempt to discriminate against teachers. She encouraged teachers to always consider the future of the children being taught.
It should be noted that the government gave a salary raise to all science teachers across the country something that raised concern among art teachers.
Okot also said teachers are also facing the challenge of late payments.
The acting Chief Administrative officer (CAO), Akumi Carol Faith, said that delayed payments have come as a result of the distortion of the payments system and the recruitment of more than what can be handled. This, she says, has affected the entire public service thus advising teachers to be patient.
The district inspector of schools, John Bosco Okiror, who represented the district education officer, also said there is a challenge of poor infrastructure among schools.
Okiror also emphasized the need to equal pay among teachers something he said would motivate teachers further calling upon the political leaders to support teachers.
World teacher’s day is celebrated annually on the 5th of October. This year’s celebrations were held under the theme; Transformation of Education begins with education.