The Government has earmarked sh40b to roll out the public teachers’ scheme of service, where salaries will be paid depending on one’s academic qualifications and experience. The funds are to enable the Ministry of Education promote long-serving teachers and those with higher academic credentials to
The Government has earmarked sh40b to roll out the public teachers’ scheme of service, where salaries will be paid depending on one’s academic qualifications and experience. The funds are to enable the Ministry of Education promote long-serving teachers and those with higher academic credentials to higher salary scales.
The programme will start next financial year alongside the 15% salary increment which the Government promised teachers recently, said education minister Jessica Alupo.
The move, Alupo said, is one of the Government’s interventions to address teachers’ grievances and motivate them to work harder to improve the quality of education in the country.
“The ministry of finance has assured us that the sh40b is available to create promotional ladders and roll out the scheme of service for all teachers,” Alupo said.
She made the disclosure during a meeting of district inspectors of schools organised by the national examinations board (UNEB) in Kampala yesterday.
A scheme of service is where all teachers have the opportunity to get promoted to higher salary scales without necessarily being deputy head teachers or head teachers.
The promotions depend on the number of years one has worked as well as their academic qualifications.
Lack of upward growth in the profession has been one of the major complaints among Ugandan teachers for several decades.
In Uganda, it took one only three steps to reach the peak of the teaching profession. The entry level is classroom teacher, and then one could progress to deputy head teacher and finally head teacher. One could not go further unless one quit the profession.
Teachers who invested in upgrading have always been frustrated because their salaries were pegged to the levels at which they teach and not their qualifications.
The scheme of service which Government wants to implement was drafted in 2005 by the Education Service Commission but had been shelved since then.
Pidson Bbaale, the teachers’ union (UNATU) deputy general secretary, yesterday revealed that the Government tried to promote primary teachers in financial year 2009/2010, but it covered less than half of them and the scheme suspended.
“This is welcome idea. It’s what UNATU has been fighting for all along,” Bbaale said, “We shall see whether it will be implemented.”
Under the proposal, Minister Alupo said various promotional ladders will provide for growth even within the ranks of classroom teachers. The scheme also aims at keeping good, experienced teachers who often rush for administrative jobs because of the salaries attached.
Under the 2005 proposal, a primary school teacher, who should possess a Grade Three teaching certificate, would be called an Education Assistant (EA) and the lowest paid with a salary scale of U-7.
Seniority can push one to the rank of Senior Education Assistant (SEA), and later to Principle Education Assistant (PEA).
At the secondary level, Grade Five teachers would be designated as Assistant Education Officers (AEO) while graduate teachers are Education Officers (EO), earning the same salary as their counterparts in primary.
Experience and a Master’s degree pushes one to the rank of Senior Education Officer (SEO), then Principal Education Officer (PEO), putting one in the same salary scale as a deputy or head teacher.
By press time it was not clear whether Government would uphold the proposal as it was drafted in 2005 when it rolls out the scheme next year.
The development comes barely a month after the teachers called off a sit-down strike over low pay and general poor conditions of service.
Alupo yesterday told inspectors of schools that the Government was focusing at addressing the teachers’ problems holistically.
She also hinted at ensuring that the Government’s financial contribution to the teachers’ SACCO becomes annual. President Museveni in July contributed sh5b to the SACCO.
A cross section of teachers New Vision interviewed yesterday applauded the Government for the proposal, saying it would reduce absenteeism and attrition rates.
“Many teachers had stagnated on the same salary ladder and saw no future in front of them which had caused a lot of despondence,” said Richard Tabura, the head teacher of Burema SS in Kanungu district. “One would work for 30 years and retire on the same small little package. This is a good move if it is implemented.”
Mike Ssekaggo, the head teacher of Lutete SS in Luweero, said the move would increase teachers’ morale if implemented. It will also avert unfair salary disparities among head teachers of different schools, he noted.
Rose Nakayenga, a teacher at Monde primary school in Luweero also said the proposal would bring fairness to teachers who spend time and funds upgradin
Teachers get Sh40b for promotions