MBARARA– As the world celebrated the international teachers’ day on Friday, teachers were warned against excessive borrowing of loans and also to desist from the vice of drunkenness which has affected the quality of education offered to students and pupils lately.
This call was made by Capt JohnBosco Bamuturaki Tumusiime the chairman Lcv Mbarara district who doubled as the chief guest as teachers under their umbrella association of Uganda National Teachers Union Mbarara marked their international teachers’day at their newly bought land in Booma cell Kamukuzi division Mbarara Municipality.
The day was celebrated under the theme of “The right to education means the right to a qualified teacher” and the national celebrations were held in Fortportal.
Bamuturaki maintained that there is much pressure, stress, and depression among a section of teachers due to multiple borrowing of loans from money lenders(Kafuna) saying this has caused most teachers to abscond from their duty due to fear of being arrested by money lenders.
“We have well established financial institutions even if you acquire much money but let it be a single loan from a bank and you keep servicing it slowly rather than running to kafuna, that’s why some teachers absent themselves because they fear being arrested, is that Kafuna helping you? Because you are not settled at work not even in your home, please refrain yourselves from multiple borrowing because our problems cannot be finished” Tumusime echoed.
Before adding, “You see these members of parliament, they are highly paid but because of multiple borrowing you find some enter parliament premises as early as 5 am and leave past midnight when lenders have already left the gates of parliament, so we all have problems but stick to established financial institutions.”
On drunkardness, Tumusime implored teachers to be exemplary. “We should look at teachers and we say this is a real teacher, not those who come drunk at school this should not be tolerated and I want to ask headteachers to help these teachers in that category because some have reached to that level of no return”.
Gabriel Ahimbisibwe the District Education Officer for Mbarara also noted that it was very beshaming when he carried out check in some schools and found out that some of the teachers come at school while drunk.
“I summoned them at district and subjected them to a test and indeed these people were drunk, we exposed them in media and warned them to desist from the vice, however some people were condemning what I did but I was thanked by some commissioners in the sector for what I did, so much as we celebrate and demand for pay rise but are we doing the right thing?”
David Karika the coordinator UNATU southwestern Uganda called upon the government to enhance their salaries to 100% as pledged citing some discrepancies in the payments as per the collective bargaining agreement which he signed with the government. He asserted that some have been not received their pay, others have been underpaid and others overpaid by some accounting officers.
He asked the government to also consider them like any public servant who dies and the government provides coffin. “if the teacher dies, the government should buy the coffin, and transport the body to the burial ground like any other servant, he says this has not been done.
He recommended that there should be the adoption of national teachers policy, social dialogue and education reforms should be expedited into operation.