By Henry Nsubuga
THE Minister for higher education, John Chrysostom Muyingo has urged teachers in the districts of Mukono, Kayunga and Buvuma to return to class and teach starting Monday.
While meeting teachers over the weekend, Muyingo said that government only afforded to give them a salary increment of four percent.
“The government is going to address the other 16% in the nearby subsequent period. My humble request is to have you go back to class. The government would want to give you the 20% increment but it only has the desire with no ability to do so,” Muyingo said.
He noted that the strike is going to affect the performance of students in government schools as the children are nearing to the National Examination Board examinations.
“Unfortunately, children in private schools are busy learning. Remember the exam time table is already out and it is not going to be postponed. And when children fail exams, they will not forgive you as their teachers because their pass slips will have them as failures forever,” he said.
Muyingo said the government is going to address this issue as it has been with other requests presented by the teachers before. He cited the 30% increment to the teachers in hard to reach areas, and also 30% for the science subject teachers which was recently fulfilled.
Muyingo said all that was a sign that the government appreciates their services.
“The President and the whole government appreciate your service as teachers and that is the reason why he always accepts to have dialogue with the National Teachers Union leaders. The country is what it is because of us teachers, for that everyone knows,” said Muyingo.
In their response, the teachers appreciated Muyingo’s effort to work tirelessly to address their issues rather than issuing threats of dismissal as it has been from officials in the education ministry and government.
“The situation would not lose control if some officials in the ministry were not uttering divisive statements. I pray that other officials behave the same like you. You have not promised to fulfil the pledge but we are a bit relieved and promise to go back and teach,” said Godfrey Kamogoli, the head teacher for Kimeggo Church of Uganda Primary School.
Mukono district chairman Francis Lukooya Mukoome asked the government to always fulfil the pledges it makes for it not to lose credibility.
Lukooya asked teachers not to over stretch their point adding that their demands were being listened to and over stretching it will make the cause lose meaning.