Thursday, May 10, 2012
COULD THE MINISTRY OF EDUCATION HAVE FORGOTTEN ABOUT THE TEACHERS?
Uganda Government should get serious as regards the pay to its employees. It is sad that the salary for teachers had not been considered in what was submitted to the Social Services Committee. William Kituuka Kiwanuka MPs INSIST ON 30 % SALARY RISE FOR TEACHERS Members of Parliament on the social services committee have insisted that government fulfills its promise to give teachers a 30-percent salary increment in the financial year 2012/13. The MPs dismissed as "negligible" the mooted salary increment ranging between 6% and 15%-depending on the salary scale. In an attempt to break an impasse created by a nationwide teachers' strike in July last year, the government, through Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi committed itself to giving teachers a 30% salary increment to match the escalating inflationary pressures. However, during a blazing interface with legislators on Tuesday over the sector budget framework for the next financial year, Education and Sports state minister Kamanda Bataringaya, told riled MPs that government is financially constrained to redeem its promise to teachers. In his submission, Bataringaya said government is not reneging on its promise, but is trying to implement it in a "phased manner." This was after he had spawned a chorus of protest from MPs with his submission that it's the mandate of the Ministry of Public Service and not the education ministry which is responsible for teachers' salaries. "The government is committed to give teachers their much deserved salary increment, but in a phased manner. The salary increment in the next financial year will be 15%, then 20% in the financial year 2013/14 and 15% in the financial year 2014/15," the minister said. Unconvinced by what they deemed a deliberate policy to renege on government's promise on teachers' salary increment, a motion by Jacqueline Amongin to send the minister away until the education ministry makes budgetary reallocation to cater for teachers' salary increment was unanimously supported by raucous MPs. "We should not pass the education ministry budget until teachers are given a salary increment. This budget if brought to the House in this current form should be rejected because teachers of this country deserve better," Amongin said. "I am ruling that you go back and harmonize with the Prime Minister over this issue and report to this committee with a clear position," committee chairman Dr. Sam Lyomoki said. The ministry of education has been allocated sh1.77 trillion for the next financial year, of which sh881.5b will be expended on wages. Of the sh881.5b wage component, sh584.3b will be spent on primary school teachers while sh152.5b will be expended on secondary school staffs. Under government's proposed salary increment, teachers on the salary scales U7 and U8 will be given 15% salary increment, those between U6 and U4 will get 8%, while those on U3 and U1 6%. This would see the least paid primary teacher's salary raise from sh267,300 to sh301,381 after tax.