Each of the eight teachers took home sh1m and a certificate, in recognition of their contribution to the country’s Universal Primary Education (UPE) programme, which was started by Government in 1997.
PIC: Outstanding teachers celebrate their victory
EIGHT teachers were selected for the top prize of ‘New Vision’ annual teachers Award.
Each of the eight teachers took home sh1m and a certificate on Thursday, in recognition of their contribution to the country’s Universal Primary Education (UPE) programme, which was started by Government in 1997.
The award, this year, went to teachers, who have made a unique difference, in contributing to the success of UPE in the country.
The winners, who were selected by an eminent jury of seasoned educationists, were recognised at the awards ceremony, at the New Vision head office in Kampala.
This year’s award of teachers by ‘New Vision’ came a day after the international commemoration of the World Teachers’ Day. Uganda’s 192,566 primary teachers; in private and public schools were part of this year’s international celebrations. There are more 47,439 teachers in secondary schools all over the country.
Meanwhile, the panel of judges which selected the best teachers, consisted of Gabriel Obbo Katandi the National Curriculum Development Centre Coordinator for Upper Primary, Stellah Keihangwe, the Executive Director of Literacy and Adult Basic Education, and Patrick Kaboyo the Executive Director of the Coalition of Uganda Private School Head Teachers Association.
The selection process by the jury, of this year’s Teachers Making a Difference Awards, concluded the campaign process of nominating and profiling of teachers for this award this year.
In August this year, ’New Vision’, called upon the public to nominate UPE teachers in their localities, whom they believed were making a great contribution in educating the country’s children.
In the two months of the project, more than 100 entries were received from the public. New Vision sent journalists to each of the nominated teachers for verification. In cases where the nomination was legitimate, the journalists went ahead and interviewed the nominees and the people in the community. Stories were written and published, and later used as a basis by the jury to select the best UPE teachers this year.
In her speech, after the awards, Keihangwe lauded the New Vision for spearheading the initiative which she said complements the Government efforts in improving education standards.
“Teachers are faced with so many challenges and there is need to thank those who go an extra mile to make a difference, amidst a storm,” she said. “The New Vison has done what everyone should be doing.”
One of the other members on the jury, Patrick Kaboyo, also commended New Vision for awarding teachers. “When people out there do a thankless job, we need organisations like you to part them on the back and say–Thank you.” “This is one great step in the right direction of redeeming out country’s future. We have selected the best teachers, on the basis of the stories written. The selected teachers really deserve this award.”
Meanwhile, Obbo also noted that the winners had exhibited unique contribution to the society and the education sector. “These teachers used limited resources, are of good character and have great interpersonal skills,” he noted. “We believe the finalists, and the selected top eight winners, indeed deserve the award from New Vision.”
Ben Opolot, New Vision’s managing editor (in-charge of English newspapers) attended the selections process and applauded the judges for the commitment, to keep the process, “Authentic and independent.”
“We surely respect the decision (selection of teachers) you have made, since you are highly trusted educationists and respected people in the community,” he told the jury.
The pre-primary sub-sector, enrolment increased from 289,862 pupils in 2011 to over 457,186 today, according to the 2015 Education ministry Education Sector Review Report. More so, enrolment in the primary sub-sector also registered an increment from 8.09 million pupils in 2011 to about 8.5 million pupils today.
The enrolment in secondary schools has also stepped up from 689,541 students to 806,992 students in 2013 to 873,476 by last year.
After several strikes by primary school teachers in the previous financial years, where they were demanding for a 100% salary increment, they came to a compromise with Government to have their salaries raised systematically by 50% in 2009/2010.
In the 2010/2011 financial year, primary teachers received the first installment of 20% salary increment.
An additional 15% was supposed to be for the 2012/2013; but due to financial constraints from the national treasury, there was no increment, till the 2013/2014 financial year when Government hiked their pay by 15%.
This implies that there was an additional 15%; which Government was expected to meet in the 2014/2015 financial year. But this did not come to pass. Even in the following financial year, the pledge was not fulfilled, emanating into a strike.
However, Government paid out the remaining 15%, plus arrears of the previous financial within this financial year– 2016/2017. Nowadays, the lowest paid teacher in primary gets about sh420,000 and that in secondary about 700,000.
Profile of jury members
Gabriel Obbo Katandi
He has been a teacher since 1997. He has taught in primary, secondary, primary teacher’s collages and at the university. He has also worked as the inspector of schools, and senior education officer at the ministry of education. He is currently the National Curriculum Development Centre Coordinator for Upper Primary.
He is also currently running two major projects for the ministry of education projects, which he is handling through the NCDC and other agencies. He has also written a number of books.
She is the Executive Director of Literacy and Adult Basic Education, an NGO which has been in existence for over 25 years. The NGO specialises in promoting pre-primary education. It also deals with teachers on the thematic curriculum implementation, on top of promoting the mother tongue education. It also promotes parental involvement in the education of the children.
He is currently the Executive Director of the Coalition of Uganda Private School Head Teachers Association.
He is a teacher by profession and education policy analyst; with experience spanning over 15 years of active teaching. He is a member of the education sector consultative committee of the ministry of education, and a national advisory committee member for Twaweza/Uwezo-Uganda.
He is also chairman of the regional local government audit committee for Uganda; chairing Eastern- A Region. He is also the secretary to the board of Human Rights Network Uganda.