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Pupils Stranded as Mbarara Teachers Strike Bites

Pupils at several schools in Mbarara Municipality are stranded a day after teachers declared a sit-down strike over non-payment of their salaries.
A pupil plays the role of a teacher in Primary five at Kakooba Muslim primary school

Audio 6

Pupils at several schools in Mbarara Municipality are stranded a day after teachers declared a sit-down strike over non-payment of their salaries.

At least 1550 teachers under the Uganda National Teacher Union - UNATU announced an industrial action on Tuesday protesting delayed salaries.

Some of the schools that have been affected by industrial action include Kakoba Muslim Primary School and Madarasat Hamza Primary School in Kakoba division; and Rwakaterere, Kamatarisi, Nyabuhaama and Rwenjeru primary schools in Biharwe division.

Also affected are Pentecostal and Nkokojeru primary schools in Kamukuzi division; Kyamugorani, Kateebe and Kafunjo primary schools in Kakiika division.

In Nyakayojo, schools which include St. Boniface Bwenkoma and Karama primary school were also under lock and key.

A URN reporter visited Kakooba Muslim primary school and found pupils attending to their colleagues. The school has a total of 15 teachers on government payroll but only three who hold administrative positions turned up for work including Semanda Mansul Abed, the head teacher and Henry Mpaka his deputy.

Primary one and two pupils were combined and left in the hands of the class monitors. In primary five a pupil was taking her colleague through past examination papers.

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Semanda told URN that the decision by the teachers to lay down tools has come at a crucial time when the pupils are supposed to revise and prepare for end of term examinations slated for Monday, April 24th.

He says the government should come up with clear procedures of how to pay the salaries.

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Luganda

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Uganda National Teachers Union-UNATU coordinator for south western Uganda, David Muhumuza, says the strike will go on until their grievances are addressed.

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Runyankole

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Mbarara Municipality town clerk Edward Lwanga says the situation is beyond the jurisdiction of the municipal authorities.

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It was Business as usual at schools which are supported by parents such as Mbarara Municipal primary, Mbarara Junior, and Uganda Martyrs among others. Lessons were going on normally.