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Parliament halts pay rise for science teachers

Parliament has halted government's proposed move to increase science teachers' salaries starting FY 2018/19. 

Early this year, government proposed to increase the salary of graduate science teachers to Shs 1.9 million in the 2018/2019 financial year while an arts teacher with the same qualifications will earn about Shs 600,000.

A science teacher in class

Government also proposed to pay science teachers with diplomas Shs 800,000 and their arts colleagues Shs 400,000. However, parliament's education committee has recommended that the pay rise for science teachers be put on hold because its discriminatory against the arts teachers.

The committee chairperson Connie Nakayenze tabled the report before the House - noting that the proposed increment will only create disparity in the payment of teachers with the same qualifications. The committee observed that all teachers contribute to the holistic upbringing of a child with a healthy body, mind and soul. 

"The committee notes with concern that the proposed increment will bring about supervisory challenges since even the supervisors in the education sector like the commissioners and directors at the ministry of Education are paid a lower salary as compared to the proposed salary for the science teachers. For example, commissioners and directors at the ministry earn Shs 1,350,000 and Shs 1,859,000 million respectively." reads part of the committee report.
The committee recommended that the money allocated for the proposed salary increment instead be directed to recruit the required 2,000 science teachers who continue appearing as unfunded priorities in the education sector budget.

It also noted that there are districts like Buliisa and Bulambuli that rely on senior six leavers to teach science subjects.

Nakayenze further noted that the proposed pay rise for science teachers was unconstitutional and discriminatory contrary to Article 40 (18) of the Constitution, which requires 'parliament to enact laws to ensure equal payment for equal work without discrimination.'

She advised government to harmonise the pay of teachers through wide consultations with the concerned stakeholders.

"The committee further advises that, besides, the use of financial benefits several other issues have got to be addressed including teachers housing, laboratories, classrooms and other teaching aids in the school to improve students performance in science subjects. The committee maintains that the policy of salary increment on its own, will not address the underperformance in science subjects. To the contrary, it could create the following challenges for the sector. The arts teachers will be grossly demotivated and as a result underperform or engage in strikes. Two, this may also bring about fights and strikes among the students since the arts students will disadvantaged over their colleagues who study sciences." she said. 

Legislators across the political divide supported the recommendation from the committee. The shadow attorney general, Wilfred Niwagaba, said there was no need to discriminate among teachers, saying it is uncalled for.

"The recommendation on equity, I beg you honourable members lets support the committee’s recommendation. The idea of discriminating employment to teachers between arts and sciences is appalling." said Niwagaba. 

Efforts by the Public Service minister Muruli Mukasa to convince the MPs that arts teachers were to be catered for at a later stage due to financial constraints were futile.

"I would like Rt. Hon. speaker to give my solemn assurance that a gap has been noted and ministry of Public Service has undertaken to narrow the gap come the next enhancement in FY 19/20. Also, the issue of discrimination doesn’t arise once, because we have not derogated from the constitutional provision and its not a policy. What we have done is simply use the tactic, a method of implementation. Yes, and that method of implementation dictated by the reality. The reality is we do not have enough money." Muruli pleaded. 
Speaker of parliament Rebecca Kadaga ruled that parliament was obliged to abide by the Constitution and not endorse discrimination. Her ruling left Mukasa with no option but to abide with the decision of parliament.

"Honourable members, I think we’re obliged to abide by the constitution that this House should not endorse discrimination. Let the government go back with respect to the teachers , go back and work out a solution." said Kadaga. 


+2 #1 Marcello 2018-05-17 12:25
The leopard will not take this lying down. I predict the NRM caucus will soon meet to do the needful.
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-2 #2 Willcruiz 2018-05-17 14:06
This was expected. How many MPs are scientists?

The house is full of arts graduates.
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+1 #3 nkuutu kibedi 2018-05-17 14:28
Quoting Marcello:
The leopard will not take this lying down. I predict the NRM caucus will soon meet to do the needful.

The time has come when the "money" mentality of NRM is coming under fire.

Using money as a "carrot" may work but this time even our MPs have actually seen the demise of such a move.

Whether or not the "leopard" will react is irrelevant here. The point is endorsing a discriminatory salary policy!

M7 and Mrs should now trend slowly and softly since their ground may in the end crumble under them. If all MPs get the same salary (not benefits) irrespective of party denomination; why not teachers?

Same qualification = same salary scale: period. Remember also that salaries are a right not a privilege. And please let not NRM come up with some dubious idea of giving science teachers some kind of extra benefits, and leave out the rest. God forbid!
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+1 #4 Twebz 2018-05-17 18:44
The disparity may be there but one of this type is mind boggling. It is a direct slap in the face of an arts teacher, telling him/her to go to hell.

If the plan goes ahead for implementation, I presume, it'll backfire sooner than later. How on earth could professionals from the same colleges, universities, equal qualifications be subjected to a discriminatory wage system!
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+1 #5 Dulaney 2018-05-18 07:07
These law makers are just greedy, how comes whenever they are increasing their salaries they do not talk about discrimination. leaders with shallow minds.

God help Uganda
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0 #6 Dulaney 2018-05-18 07:10
No wonder that is why many teachers are going to other countries for green pasture.
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+1 #7 kabayekka 2018-05-18 09:05
Of course there is little hope for science determination in this country.

Where has all the great scientific reasearch facilities in Agriculture, Veterinary and Medicine gone that used to exist in this country?

Any student that loves science make the best grades and afterwards apply for scientific jobs abroad to go and work.

Students, mind little about those teachers and their sleeping employers. The sky is the limit my friends.
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+1 #8 Peter K 2018-05-18 14:47
Why would MP's suggest that the money be iverted to recruit ment of more teachers and not use the same money to slightly enhance the pay for all teachers?

This clearly shows how they went to represent their personal interests rather than the people they claim to represent.
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0 #9 Zaitun 2018-05-18 15:07
Just like Doctors have all these years been ill-treated, the mistreatment of Arts teachers if upheld, will lead to migration of Ugandan Arts teachers to look for greener pastures in other African countries, if not overseas.

How on earth can we at this stage, have as Education Minister, some one who does not even have a Diploma in teaching, leave alone Education Methodology but happily goes about bragging with teachers' salaries and welfare?

She earns millions each month but does not have a University Degree, connives with her husband against teachers! What a joke!
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0 #10 Jama 2018-05-20 02:37
All this nonsense was created by his excellence during one of his speeches, minimized the arts subjects.

Yet in many countries arts is one of the major contributor of economic development.

A good example is Nigeria with its music and films. You can't talk of the USA without Hollywood or India with it's Bollywood.

Arts and culture contribute to the promotion of tourism. Demoting arts is like the amputation of oneself.

Let them begin by reducing the salary of the ministers directly concerned by the arts related subjects.
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