KAMPALA – For months, teachers in private schools have patiently waited for President Yoweri Museveni to open schools like a bride waiting for a groom. For months, following the declaration of the lockdown in March, they have listened to the monotonous presidential addresses on Covid 19 with a mixture of anxiety and glee, but it seems for many, their troubles are not about to end.
Information reaching PML Daily indicates that majority of teachers will continue to ‘sit tight’ as they wait for the non-candidates to return to school.
“I received a call from my Director of Studies informing me that since the number of students expected to return will be few, I should hold on till next year,” said Ambrose Kapasa, a teacher in one of the private schools in Jinja.
He said the news hit him like a train as he had vested all his hopes in the schools’ reopening and unlike many of his colleagues who ventured into odd jobs to survive, Kapasa became a living refutation of the proverbial saying that a lion cannot eat grass no matter how hard the economy of the jungle is.
“I have been sitting at home surviving on loans hoping that when schools reopen, I will be able to clear my creditors,” he said.
But Kapasa is not alone, James Mugabi (not real name), a tutor in one of the vocational institutions in Jinja, says the institution has only called back two tutors per department and the rest have been left on the guillotine of what the corona pandemic has turned into an endangered profession.
“My head of department informed me that the student numbers are still limited and that I should hold on till next year,” Mugabi says.
He questioned the criteria his bosses used to recall some while throwing others to the wolves.
“I had the highest number of course units in the department but it seems the decision to keep me on the wings as schools reopen is politically motivated,” he said.
Schools are set to open tomorrow but it will probably take months before they bounce back on the normal trajectory.
Grace Wakabi, a school head teacher in Iganga district, says several parents are cash trapped and may fail to meet their fees obligations.
“Many parents will most likely report without fees and other school requirements because of the hard times they have undergone. We have, therefore, found it necessary to recall only those teachers who handle candidate classes,” Wakabi said.