Schools in Apac Deserted as Teachers Stay Away

In some schools in Apac district, there are no pupils while in other schools with boarding sections, there are only candidates.
Atopi Annex primary school without pupils

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Pupils in Apac District have abandoned schools as teachers continue with the industrial action.

Two weeks ago, Uganda National Teachers Union (UNATU), declared a nationwide strike following the government's failure to meet their demand for a pay rise and better working conditions.

In some schools in Apac district, there are no pupils while in other schools with boarding sections, there are only candidates.

At Atopi Annex Prison Primary School, pupils, an average of 5 out of 9 teachers report on a daily basis but there are no pupils to teach, despite the school having an enrolment of 801 pupils.

Stanley Omara, the head teacher, says that last week Apac Municipal leaders held a meeting with head teachers who agreed to resume normal lessons. He however adds that the teachers have been coming to school but there are no pupils to teach.

//Cue in: “We were briefed…

Cue out: … from our leaders.”//

Apac Primary School which has 19 teachers and an enrollment of 1,022 pupils, only P.7 candidates are being taught while others spend time playing.

At Atopi Primary School which has an enrollment of 1,200 pupils, only 102 P.7 candidates who are in the boarding section are at school. The children are being taught by seven out of 19 teachers at the school.

Tom Ngura Obia, the head teacher, says they opted to teach the reporters because they will be sitting for national exams and their parents are willing to support the school by contributing some money for paying teachers.

//Cue in: “The community… 

Cue out: … with government, no.”//

Some parents want the government to fulfill their promise to teachers.

Vox pops

//Cue in: “Cikere ame rik…

Cue out: … agamere nga agamo.”//

Janet Oguti, a resident of Obapo-dyang cell, Aroca Division in Apac Municipality is disappointed that the government has failed to support teachers which has affected the learning of their children.

Luo byte:

//Cue in: “Ayele kom icinga… 

Cue out: … anyim gi dang bed atye.”//

Last week the government threatened to fire all teachers who would not report for duty. A circular to Town Clerks and Chief Administrative Officers were issued ordering them to instruct Parish Chiefs and school inspectors to carry out roll calls and compile lists of teachers who are not in schools. 

On Tuesday, the government invited UNATU leadership for meetings with Vice President Jessica Alupo and the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Public Service to discuss ways of ending the strike.  

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