Teachers have said they cannot teach pupils who are hungry and want the government to allow primary schools to charge parents modest fees for feeding pupils
By John Odyek
Teachers have said they cannot teach pupils who are hungry and want the government to allow primary schools to charge parents modest fees for feeding pupils in order to eradicate hunger in schools.
"Most of the children in our schools are hungry. Consequently our children are unable to concentrate on learning due to hunger. We demand that we eradicate hunger in our schools," said Teopista Birungi the general secretary Uganda National Teachers Union (UNATU).
This was during a function held at Kiswa Primary School to launch the demands of teachers which aims at improving quality education in Uganda. The function took place Kiswa Primary School, Kampala.
Gertrude Kafunda, the headteacher Kiswa Primary School said fees of sh20,000 can enable schools provide modest meals of unfried beans and posho to pupils.
She said for some pupils the meals they get at school is their only meal because some parents do not provide lunch and breakfast. She explained that some parents 'drink' the money [spend it on alcohol] and don't buy food at home and so it was better they give some money to schools for feeding.
"The UPE policy which restricts charging fees for meals could be relaxed so that parents can pay money to schools so that food is provided. The policy guidelines which demand the carrying of food to school has not been successful for various reasons economic, political, social, cultural and behavioural," Kafunda, a member of UNATU said.
Bishop Zac Niringiye, patron of the pressure group Citizens' Action for Quality Public Education said children need to learn because they are the future of this country. The idea that parents cannot pay for their children's meals and education is not acceptable," Niringiye said.
He was launching the demands of the group in a function that was attended by over 200 parents, teachers and head-teachers. It was organized by UNATU, Forum for Education NGOs in Uganda and Uganda NGO Forum.
Teachers want lunch fee for pupils charged