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Private School Teachers in Mukono Opt for Casual Jobs for Survival

Micheal Matherere, a primary seven science teacher we found clearing a community road at Ttakajunge in Nama Sub County, together with five others, told URN that he has been involved in all kinds of work to support his family since the lockdown because his employer stopped remitting salaries during the same month that the schools were closed.
Andrew Mukamenyi a teacher at Good Samaritan primary school now involved in the business of brick laying.

Audio 4

Several private school teachers in Mukono district have resorted to casual and labor intensive jobs to support their families, following continued uncertainty on the reopening of schools.

The uncertainty started with the closure of educational institutions in March, as the government devised means to contain the spread of coronavirus disease. As the number of infections went up, the government equally tightened the grip throwing teachers into misery.

In Mukono district, our reporter has come across several teachers in bricklaying, digging the road trenches and gardens, and others working as porters at construction sites.

Micheal Matherere, a primary seven science teacher we found clearing a community road at Ttakajunge in Nama Sub County, together with five others, told URN that he has been involved in all kinds of work to support his family since the lockdown because his employer stopped remitting salaries during the same month that the schools were closed.

Matherere says that for some of the jobs, all they earn is a meal adding that at the moment, he is supporting an NGO to clear the road connecting to its offices, and in turn earns five kilograms of maize flour and beans at the end of the week.

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Augustine Aneku, a senior six teacher at Our Lady of Africa S.S  who is now working at a construction site says that although he gets relief food from the school, it is too little to sustain his entire family.

He notes that at the time of the school closure, his house rent had already accumulated for three months and has not been settled to date, yet he is also taking care of his expectant wife.

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Andrew Mukamenyi, a teacher at Good Samaritan Primary School says he was supported by a good samaritan to join a bricklaying project and so far, his services have been valued at 700,000 Shillings

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Nicholas Bwiire the Chairperson of Mukono Private Teachers Association expresses disappointment over the government failure to support teachers at a time when their jobs are at stake and their livelihoods have been disrupted. He said that the government has ignored private school teachers, well knowing that most of them have no alternative sources of income.

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Bwire notes that more than 1,000 teachers are currently starving.