Buyende teachers decry huge workload, poor infrastructure in World Teachers’ Day message

A section of teachers and Buyende District leaders cut the cake to mark the 2023 World Teacher's Day Celebrations in on Thursday, October 05, 2023

Buyende, (UG): Teachers in Buyende District have pointed out a huge workload due to the absence of enough teachers to effectively handle the increasing number of learners as one of the key considerations and challenges they are facing in their profession.

The teachers presented their concerns to the workers’ member of parliament Hon Dr Byakatonda Abdulhu, and the Buyende District Woman MP Hon. Nakato Mary Annet while commemorating World Teachers’ Day on Thursday at Nkondo primary, Nkondo sub-county in Buyende district where they also raised the matter of dilapidated and less pit latrine stances at schools.

The district education officer (DEO), Mr Disan Bwire attributed the shortage of teachers to the temporary ban on recruitment of teachers in the whole country citing that they have a 1 to 70 teacher-learner ratio, before confirming that they submitted reports to the ministry about the teachers’ shortage.

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“The national ratio of pupils to teachers is 1 to 53 but Buyende is standing at a ratio of 1 to 70 and this has caused a huge workload to the available teachers who keep on complaining,” Mr Bwire noted adding that a number of teachers are tortured psychologically after going for loans which cripples the performance.

The DEO also noted that the national ratio of pit latrine stances to learners is 1 to 40 which is opposed to the condition in Buyende where a stance of pit latrine serves over 120 people. He therefore called upon the government to increase on the funding to set up new latrines or empty the full ones.

UNATU Regional Chairperson in Busoga, Ms Hajjat Aisha Watongola in her remarks called upon the government to support the teachers and that it was deemed necessary to work on infrastructures and textbooks, even before enhancing salaries for science teachers.

“Though we’re celebrating this day, some of us are not happy especially teachers of primary and those of humanities because of the salary differences. Remember we go to the same markets and the economy is growing but the salary is still the same,” Hajjat Kumutala said before decrying the absence of laboratories and libraries in schools.

The workers’ MP Hon Dr. Byakatonda Abdulhu who was the chief guest on the invitation of Hon Nakato noted the issue of loans acquired by teachers something which keeps on torturing them psychologically and ends up crippling their performance at schools.

Workers MP, Hon Dr. Byakatonda Abdulhu speaking to Buyende teachers on Thursday, October 05, at the World Teacher’s Day Celebrations

Mr Byakatonda advised the teachers to shun loans or else invest their borrowed money wisely and consider building a strong SACCO where they can have flexible interests. 

“This is very critical and it’s the reason President Museveni advised the Ministry of Finance to come up with a regulation because interests have been so exorbitant. I advise all workers and teachers to borrow where necessary and invest the money wisely, this business of thinking that money lenders are Father Christmas is uncalled for and you should shun it. I encourage you to form SACCOs with flexible interests,” Hon Byakatonda said.

The Buyende Woman MP, Hon Nakato Mary Annet revealed that President Museveni is aware that some teachers are underpaid and promised to minimize charges in schools by setting aside a budget to recruit teachers.

“As a member of parliament on the budget committee, I want to assure teachers in Buyende district that recently we had a caucus with Mzee and said he’s really concerned with the teachers’ plight. He is aware that some teachers are underpaid, especially those in arts subjects,”

“The president promised to minimize dropout rate of children and charges in schools, he’s going to set up a budget aside to recruit teachers,” Hon Nakato said before calling upon learners to take up science subjects with seriousness as teachers endure as the government comes to their attention.

Buyende Woman MO, Hon Nakato Mary Annet (L), Workers MP, Hon Dr Byakatonda Abdulhu and Hajjat Aisha Watongola at the World Teacher’s Day Celebrations

The absence of enough teachers according to Hon Nakato has created a burden of workload and absenteeism in schools. 

The teacher’s day commemoration was attended by among others the chairperson of UNATU Buyende district Mr Lubaale Paul, the district’s local government leadership and members of the public.

A section of teachers who attended the Thursday, October 05 World Teacher’s Day Celebrations in Buyende

Buyende, a district in the Eastern region of Uganda has a total population of 1,070 primary teachers.
DailyExpress has since established that only 5% of these teachers are accommodated at schools.

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