By Gilbert Kidimu
While other professions will reward you with a bounty pay cheque at the end of the month, get you a nice car and make the public shower you with accolades, the same does not apply in the teaching profession.
They teach and mentor society’s elite, but teachers do not have much to show after a long day’s work.
There are no savings or houses to display, yet they spend the same amount of time and effort working, sometimes even more.
Some of these teachers go beyond the classroom and make a difference in people’s lives.
The New Vision once again this year came up to reward teachers, who have moved an extra mile in serving the nation. Nominations were made by the readers of New Vision and the general public. A team of journalists was dispatched to the field to verify the nominations and stories were written, after which a jury made of top education experts and technical staff made a verdict.
It was only stories published between February 20 and May 16 that were considered. Out of the 48 contestants who had been profiled12 winners were selected from four categories of pre-primary, primary, secondary and business, vocational and technical education.
The jury based its decision on the teachers’ ability to contribute to the community, ability to use limited resources, professional creativity and relationship with colleagues, parents and students.
The jury also valued the teachers’ participation in extra co-curricular activities.
The jury consisted of the director of education standards Huzaifa Mutazindwa, City Parents’ head teacher Martin Isagara and the head of pre-primary and primary department at the National Curriculum Development Centre, Gabriel Obbo Katandi.
Others on the jury were Uganda National Teachers’ Union chairperson Margaret Rwabushaija and Lugogo Vocational Training Institute deputy principal Olam Omita.
All the winners will receive their prizes at the Vision Group premises in Kampala on October 5. Vision Group’s Managing Editor (English papers) Ben Opolot said although teachers work in challenging conditions, society expects them to do a good job. They are supposed to teach, discipline, parent and be role models to children.
“So little money, so many roles and same number of working hours; those are the true citizens and New Vision recognises that,” he said.
He added that the move by New Vision to recognise teachers is to advance society’s call to appreciate their good work.
The Features Editor, John Eremu, who co-ordinated the project, said apart from the best 12 teachers, more other top contenders will be recognised.