The teachers’ strike has paralysed business in a number of schools around the country. The first school day for this year’s second term has been characterized by padlocks on classroom doors, few teachers in schools and general inactivity.
In Mukono many government schools have opened but with no teaching going on. At Bishops Central and Bishops East P/S, the authorities are laboring to keep the children in class while teachers hang around under tree shades. At Bishop West, children have been seen playing and teachers did not turn up completely. In Nakisunga sub county in the villages of Mwanyangiri, and Seeta Nazigo , schools didn’t open. Efforts to get a comment from the district education officer Vincent Balaza and RDC Capt. Kigozi Kaweesa have been futile.
In Mubende, there is a low pupil turn up at schools as teachers shun teaching. At most of the schools, the classes are open but pupils seen playing outside and inside the classes. The district education officer Benson Kayiwa says the teachers’ action is uncalled for and warns them to go back to classes or risk expulsion. He is now leading a team through schools to note down all the teachers who have shunned teaching.
Meanwhile in Jinja, the RDC is moving school to school with threats to have those shunning teaching disciplined. This however has not forced teachers to class with many schools open but no teaching going on.
Although teachers continue to strike, in some districts of Budaka, Kibuku and Pallisa, a survey carriedout has shown that a sizable number of teachers have turned up to their respective schools.
Most schools visited in Eastern Uganda especially Mbale municipality, the classes remained closed, deserted and classes unattended to.
Teachers in government-aided schools, especially in rural sub-counties, did not turn up for duty and insisted they will not show up in class until government comes clean on their 10 per cent pay rise as it promised last year.
At North road primary school, one of the parents tells us he was frustrated when he found the classrooms locked and no teachers apart from a cleaner.
The school head teacher North road primary school, Judith Nabugere said there were only two teachers with about 149 pupils who turned up for the new term out of 2031 pupils.
In Butaleja the chairperson Uganda National Teachers Union Butaleja branch, Betty Namulwa said the strike is on and advised parents to keep their children at home
The Mbale district UNATU chairperson Gershom Wambuya said they will not teach until their concerns are addressed by the government.
In Manafwa, the chairperson UNATU, George Kuloba Wamai who doubles as the Esatern sub-region UNATU representative warned parents against sending their children to school, saying they are off duty.
In Budaka district, the district UNATU chairperson, Joseph Sisye tells KFM that in some schools, very few teachers turned up, and where as in other schools teachers have massively turned up for the second term opening.
At Nakisenye primary school, out of the 27 teachers, 23 had turned up and the head teacher says they are not part of the strike.
The Budaka Resident District Commissioner, Geoffrey Macho, says that from the preliminary security monitoring done in the 59 government aided primary schools, shows that teaching was going normally without any hindrance
The District Education officer, John Francis Okuma, said that in some schools visited by the education department, like Pallisa girls, Kaucho and and Kalaki primary schools some teachers had turned up.
In Kibuku District, the LC5 chairman, Mohammed Nakeba, said that of the few schools visited, which included Kyakonye primary school-of the 15 teachers, only 7 had turned up, Kibuku Primary school, of the 25 teachers only 18 had turned up and Kobolwa primary school, of 17 teachers only 10 had turned up.
Meanwhile transport fares have shot up as schools opens with taxis and buses charging 15,000 shillings from Mubende to Kampala from 10,000.