Kampala. The ministry of Finance last evening appeared shocked to learn that up to 40,000 primary and secondary school teachers in 38 districts have gone without pay for two months.
Ministry spokesman Jim Mugunga, sounding startled, wondered how other public servants could have been paid to the exclusion of such a large number of teachers.
He explained that the only delays he was aware of were in Nansana Municipality and Kabale University because they are new.
“Teachers’ salaries are never separated from other civil servants. So, why would government pay others and not teachers? I am sure someone has not done their work. There is no way the Treasury can release partial salaries. The chief administrative officers of these districts should be [held] responsible,” Mr Mugunga told Daily Monitor yesterday.
According to the Uganda National Teachers Union general secretary, Mr James Tweheyo, majority of the affected teachers work in the newly created districts and municipalities.
Mr Tweheyo cited Mityana, Njeru, Lugazi and Mubende municipalities where teachers have only been paid half salaries since June, while Kabale, Kiruhura, Bushenyi and Kiruhura teachers “have not seen a coin.”
“[at least] 38 districts have been affected and these are close to 40,000 primary and secondary teachers,” he said at the Education International Africa Regional Committee meeting in Kampala where teacher union leaders have converged to look at how to ensure quality education on the continent.
Ministry of Education officials, including the spokesman, Mr Patrick Muinda, couldn’t be reached for a comment by press time as they were reported to be in a meeting with the President at State House.