By Spy Uganda
Kampala: His Excellence Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has today graced the teachers day celebrations an event that was held at State House Entebbe under the theme; “Leading In Crisis, Reimaging The Future.”
The event that was attended by the Minister of Education and Sports dubbed first lady Janet Kataha Museveni and other key officials from Uganda National Teachers’ Union (UNATU) among these including Filbert Baguma, the General Secretary who questioned Museveni of how he could open schools and leave public transport restricted to school children and their teachers.
In response, President Museveni revealed that if the set procedures in communities, public transport, and schools are observed, there is no reason as to why learners and teachers cannot use them and urged them to adhere to set rules to curb the transmission of the virus in the schools.
In the same vein, President defended his view of lockdown that is alleged to be the root cause of a couple of early pregnancy cases registered under young girls who were still continuing with their studies saying, ” It is better to be pregnant than dying of Coronavirus and stop speaking without focusing, you should all know that we are in a war, where we have to think big before acting on minor issues…..Life is better than being pregnant please.”
President, in addition, requested UNATU to think of how children in deep rural schools of how they can be assisted in their school fees which he requested that it should be uplifted in a bid to curb the school drop out rate that has since increased rapidly.
“My target is to see all children going to school, mostly there other some children in rural villages who face financial hardships, why don’t we remove fees on such people and be allowed to study for free? Mr Filbert Baguma and your team please think of how this can be implemented,” Museveni said.
About Teachers’ Day
World Teachers’ Day, also known as International Teachers Day, is a day held annually on 5 October. Established in 1994, it commemorates the signing of the 1966 UNESCO/ILO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers, which is a standard-setting instrument that addresses the status and situations of teachers around the world.
World Teachers’ Day aims to focus on “appreciating, assessing and improving the educators of the world” and to provide an opportunity to consider issues related to teachers and teaching.
Originally active as the Uganda Teachers Association (UTA), the Teachers’ Association renamed itself the Uganda National Teachers’ Union in March 2003 and thereby complied with the Trade Union Act of 1971.
In 2006, these laws were updated with the Labor Unions Act. UNATU has been recognized as a charitable organization since 2006. With its 140,000 members, it is the largest and oldest teacher union in the country.
One of the major tasks is collective bargaining and the attractiveness of the teaching profession. Uganda, once a pioneer in education policy within Africa, is now a developing country in the field of education.
Since its inception, the union has been calling for a 100% increase in pay, as well as benefits such as travel allowance, health insurance and pension increases.
In 2011, the union called for a strike and was able to demand concessions from Yoweri Museveni in the upcoming elections, which were diluted again as a result and since 2016 UNATU has been negotiating with Janet Museveni, Minister of Education and Sports enforcing at least a 50% wage increase.