President Yoweri Museveni has assured people of Uganda that basing on the development trend of the socio-economic transformation, he is optimistic and confident that the future of Uganda is bright.
The President was speaking to a congregation of teachers at the Lugogo Cricket grounds in Kampala on the occasion of marking and celebrating the 50th World Teachers’ Day that took place yesterday that was organized by the Uganda National Teachers’ Union (UNATU). The celebrations ran under the theme ‘Valuing Teachers, Improving Their Status.’
Mr. Museveni informed teachers that the Movement Government has a track record of strategic planning using scarce resources to do big development in the country. He revealed that government has constructed 12,000 government primary schools, which are not equally distributed in the country.
He added that there are plans to build more schools in 7000 parishes, government secondary schools and a technical school at every Sub-County throughout the country.
He revealed that currently, the literacy rate has increased to 75% up from 43% while average life expectancy is at 62%. He noted that these achievements are the result of strategic decision making by the Movement Government.
“Since the inception of UPE, we started with 28,000 classrooms constructed with permanent building materials. Now we have an achievement of over 80,000 government primary schools with a total enrolment of 145,000 teachers,” he said.
He further told the teachers that the next step is to build teachers’ houses in schools to make sure that all teachers have institutional houses.
He, however, decried rampant cases of children not attending school and warned against running schools as commercial agencies.
President Museveni appealed to UNATU members to endeavour and learn discussion and sharing of information with the public as a role for educationists.
“UNATU, take keen interest in sensitizing the people on income generating activities. We should not have ‘spectators’ in Wealth Creation and money generation. Since you are part of the elite, discuss these issues with the society by acting as agents of change,” he said.
Regarding the issue of teachers’ salary increment, the President challenged UNATU to appreciate the fact that if government had increased their salary, 1.8 million pupils in UPE would not have been enrolled and catered for. He said that remunerations of teachers require more time.
In the meantime, he said, “we are empowering the teachers with the use of Shs.25 billion to the SACCO at national level in order to ensure enhancement of their income.”
The First Lady, Mrs. Janet Museveni, who is also the Minister of Education and Sports, said that her Ministry is charged with moulding, empowering, facilitating the mental physical, emotional and spiritual growth and development of the children of Uganda to ensure they have a better shaped future.
“The Ministry of Education and Sports is a vital ministry in the country because it deals with the development of the human capital of the nation,” she said.
Mrs. Museveni also revealed that the government has undertaken a number of initiatives to address the concerns of teachers. She said that the Government had resumed the implementation of the removal of the grading system.
She, however, expressed concern with regard to the challenge of teacher absenteeism. She called for concerted efforts to have that challenge addressed seriously.
The national Chairperson of UNATU, Ms. Margaret Rwabushaija, reported that qualified and supported teachers are committed to minimum standards of education as provided for in education policy and national constitution.
President Museveni used the occasion to commission the Teacher Competence Profile and the harmonized Pre-Service Curriculum Framework as well as the research report on Global Response to Commercialization of Education.
The Buganda Road Chief Magistrate’s Court has released five Democratic Party youth activists on bail pending the hearing of the incitement case against them.