Do the teachers at the famous primary schools in Kampala get their services’ worth?
This is the question parents and stakeholders ask when new fees policies are instituted in schools. While the tendency is for such schools to hike fees each time the PLE results are released, it is rare that they match the teachers’ salaries to what the pupils pay in tuition.
Daphine Mirembe, a teacher at one of the famous primary schools in Kampala gets Shs 300,000 in salary, with an increment of either Shs 20,000 or Shs 25,000 at the beginning of the year depending on either excellent work or sheer luck.
“We have not received our salary for February and the worst month is January when salaries come in the middle of February.
“Yet we never complain because if you complain, you get reminded that the school is private, based on a business model. You either live with the conditions or try elsewhere,” she says.
In addition to the salary complaints, the teachers lack teaching materials and other amenities.
“What is so perturbing is these pupils pay a lot of money and are denied some of the teaching materials due to the delay in either purchases or delivery by the person in charge which shouldn’t be the case,” Mirembe says.
At Kabojja Junior, a private school where pupils pay Shs 700,000 when new and Shs 600,000 in the subsequent terms, a class room teacher is paid between Shs 300,000 to Shs 500,000 depending on his/her qualifications and performance.
There’s an additional Shs 15,000 given to all teachers and a transport refund of Shs 15,000 every week. The pay structure at Kampala Junior Academy, a private primary and nursery school, depends on how long a teacher has stayed in the school.
In addition, teachers’ performance is monitored by a body constituted to measure each teacher’s work rate. A classroom teacher gets Shs 300,000 while heads of department get Shs 500,000.
There’s an increment every year, but this is not guaranteed; it can be either reduced or scrapped depending on the teacher’s performance. At Kampala Parents, teachers get a minimum of Shs 600,000 and heads of departments get up to Shs 1m with medical care incentives.
The school also pay tuition for the biological children of every staff. But to get a spot here, a teacher has to be hard working and most are encouraged to raise their standards by constantly reading. Pupils here pay Shs 800,000 a term irrespective of class or section.
For the most part, parents don’t have a problem with the fees structure at most of these schools.
“I do not see a problem with paying high fees for my child since the question is not how much one pays, but what comes with the amount you pay,” a parent said.
Indeed according to this parent, a child’s satisfactory grades justify the high tuition.
What he didn’t question was whether his child’s teacher gets paid a reasonable fraction from what he pays in tuition.
Below is a survey of some top Kampala school fees structure and teachers’ pay
|Name of the school
||School fees range (Shs)
||Teacher’s salary (Shs)
|Green Hill Academy||782,000-652,000||500,000
|St. Angella‘s P/S
|Aga Khan P/S||669,600
|Kampala Junior Academy
|Taibah Junior School||1,660,000
|Bright Junior school
|Hillside P/S Naalya
|Buddo Junior school
|Mvule P/S Luzira