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Teachers Strike Affects Operation of Nursery Schools in Kasese

Teacher’s under the Uganda National teacher’s Union-UNATU started an indefinite nationwide strike on June 15, in protest of the government's decision to raise the pay for certain teachers in violation of past agreements that guaranteed equality and harmonization of salaries for all teachers.
Some of the primary school learners returning home after finding classes still locked on Thursday

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Teaching in pre-primary classes across Kasese district has slowed down as a result of the ongoing strike by teachers in government schools.

Teacher’s under the Uganda National teacher’s Union-UNATU started an indefinite nationwide strike on June 15, in protest of the government's decision to raise the pay for certain teachers in violation of past agreements that guaranteed equality and harmonization of salaries for all teachers.

Although the government does not run any nursery schools, school administrators in Kasese say that the ongoing strike has affected their operations because most of the teachers are shared between the nursery and the primary sections. Many of the nursery sections are managed under school-parent agreements.

Maureen Biira, a nursery teacher at Base Camp Primary School says that the turnup of nursery learners has declined since teachers announced their strike because many of the learners were coming to school under the guide of their siblings in primary classes, who no longer come to school.

She anticipates that many parents would opt to stop their children from going to school until they are sure that all teachers are back to school.  

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Biira added that their nursery teacher’s shared the same facilities, like the staff room with their counterparts in the Primary section, but these facilities have since been closed.

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The teacher said if the strike keeps on, they may also be forced to temporarily close the nursery section until the situation returns to normal. 

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Another nursery teacher at Kamaiba Primary School, says that nursery learners have a lot to learn from pupils in Primary Schools including socialising, a component that is now missing. She said that the absence of other learners in school, makes learning boring for junior learners. 

Kasese Municipality's Principal Education Officer Emmy Kayiri acknowledges that the absence of other pupils at school affects the leaning of those in the nursery section. However, he is hopeful that teacher's will soon return to school.

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Joshua Bwambale, the UNATU chairperson in Kasese Municipality advises parents to find time for their children until the teachers return to school. 

On Thursday Catherine Bitarakwate Musingwire, the permanent secretary in the ministry of public service issued a letter addressed to UNATU General Secretary Filbert Baguma pleading with teachers to resume teaching at the earliest time.   She said they were committed to implementing the approved payment plan for all teachers and employees of all public services.

But according to Baguma, no conclusive decision has been reached yet and the strike is continuing. 

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