For the past few days, I have sat and watched as the arts teachers went on strike leaving learners stranded, a move that have since left our schools closed.
The teachers abandoned work to protest what they termed as discriminatory pay rise strategy by the government that only favors science counterparts.
The science teachers asked for an increase in salary through their body UPST in 2017 and were patient till 2022 to get the increase in their salary.
Why can’t the arts teachers also emulate their colleagues and be patient?
Teachers are supposed to teach and instill patience ability to leaners but how will they teach something they clearly lack themselves? And should we call it greed or intolerance?
The teachers should have been able to put the parents into consideration aware that parents had scratched hardly to pay school fees for their children this term.
With the current economic hardship, and rising school fees was not easy for most parents, therefore sending children home due to teachers’ strike was really so betraying to parents.
We should also recall that that the same teachers who are impatiently demanding for pay rise equally holds wanting record and history of poor funds management.
In 2015, government delivered a total of 16b to support teachers SACCO through Micro-finance Support Centre.
This was a presidential pledged that was made in July 2011 in a bid to support and develop teachers’ income.
As a result of greed, and selfishness, UNATU officials kept on fighting over the management of this fund through Walimu SACCO claiming that Microfinance Support Centre was incapable of manage it on their behalf.
In a rush to lend the teachers money as non-professionals, UNATU failed in the management of the fund, for which, up to now the beneficiaries have never got it.
The teachers therefore, advised that the remaining fund be accessed through other programs.
Teachers should appreciate the fact that government has always been supportive in enhancing their livelihood therefore abandoning work due to government decision to increase pay in phases was betrayal.
Two weeks ago, an 11 year old Aron Waligo, a P.4 pupil at Kitante Primary school and resident of Nakulabye zone 7, Rubaga division in Kampala City was murdered by robbers from their home.
Relatives blamed his death to the current teachers’ strike saying if the deceased was at school,he wouldn’t have been murdered since he would be at school.
Aron had stayed home from school because his teachers were on strike and he didn’t a reason to go school.
Teachers should be held responsible for whatever misfortunes that may happen on our children during this time when they are home due to strike.
Back in the days, teachers used to be the most respectful persons within our community and role models to many unfortunately this has continued to fade over the years, courtesy of this unrealistic industrial action.
Their action has also set bad precedent but I hope they can abandon strike and resume work before causing irreparable damages to our children.
The writer is a widow of five children who are all now at home as a result of the current teachers’ strike