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Teachers Strike: Kapelebyong Resorts to Parents for Support :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Teachers Strike: Kapelebyong Resorts to Parents for Support

Akorikin said that Kapelebyong district education system heavily relies on the government with more than 95 percent of children (39,000) attending government-aided schools offering Universal Primary and Secondary Education.
A teacher addresses pupils in morining assembly.

Audio 2

Kapelebyong district authorities have appealed to parents to contribute money to boost teachers' salaries as their industrial action continues across the country. 

Francis Akorikin, the Kapelebyong District LC V Chairperson says that the teachers’ strike is hitting the new district hard in the face of many challenges. 

“While we fully appreciate the concerns of our public servants, as a district, it’s unfortunate that salaries and wages are a matter of the central government, which districts have no control over”, Akorikin said in a notice on the district platform.

Akorikin said that Kapelebyong district education system heavily relies on the government with more than 95 percent of children (39,000) attending government-aided schools offering Universal Primary and Secondary Education.

The LC V chairperson, who is steering the new district operationalized in 2018, says that he has instructed the district education officer to mobilize parents to support the education of their children by contributing some money for the welfare of the teachers.

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Samson Okare Olaki, the Kapelebyong district education officer, says that whereas the proposal by the LC V chairperson is good, there are policy issues that need to be addressed by legislators if parents are to contribute. 

He said that under the Universal Primary Education, the government pays teachers’ salaries, constructs classrooms, and provides furniture and instructional material while parents buy scholastic materials, and uniforms and provide meals for their children.

//Cue in: “Very few…

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Catherine Aboot, a parent in Adepar Primary School, Kapelebyong district, says that much as she would love to contribute to the teacher’s welfare, her financial condition cannot allow her.

“I am a single parent with three children at school. Sometimes, we sleep without food at home. These children are able to go to school because of UPE since the government caters to most needs of education”, Aboot said. 

She added that contributing to teachers’ welfare is a good proposal but most parents are equally struggling. Kapelebyong is not alone in the struggle to convince parents to contribute some money for teachers’ welfare and other developments in schools.

In Soroti and Serere, the district council's recommendations to compel parents to contribute money to UPE schools were dropped when members cited the UPE Policy guidelines. In Soroti, the council had proposed a minimum contribution of Shillings 5,000 for each pupil while Serere proposed less than Shillings 5,000. 

However, although most council members supported the idea, they were shut down by the policy provisions. In Soroti, Stephen Olebe, the district speaker said that besides policy restrictions, setting a minimum of 5,000 Shillings for pupils might open room for extortion by teachers.

The Uganda National Teachers Union, UNATAU in a press statement on Saturday evening indicated that the industrial action will continue until the government addresses issues of salary enhancement. 

The statement showed that whereas UNATU met the President and some members of the cabinet, the matter was handed to the Ministry of Public Service and Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development for review. “This means that discussions and negotiations are still ongoing”, Filbert Baguma, UNATU Secretary-General said in the press statement.