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Teachers vow to start a bank

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Teachers under the Uganda National Teachers

Teachers under the Uganda National Teachers Union during a meeting recently. Photo by Stephen Wandera 

By PATIENCE AHIMBISIBWE

Posted  Tuesday, December 24  2013 at  02:00

In Summary

Teachers say the move is to improve their welfare in the face of government failure to fulfill their demands.

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Kampala- Teachers have proposed to start a bank where they can make all their transactions in order to improve their welfare.

But first, they agreed yesterday to form a teachers’ Sacco union which will bring together all their saccos across the country under one umbrella.

“We have the numbers but we are not using them. We all use banks. We have the ability to form our bank. If we remove our money from these banks, I am sure they will collapse. We are already studying how our neighbours in Tanzania are doing it and in 10 years, we should have a teachers’ bank,” Mr James Tweheyo, the Uganda National Teachers’ Union general secretary, said yesterday.

The proposals were made by representatives of teachers’ Saccos from each district during a meeting in Kampala. They argued that they lack coordination and yet their success depends on their efforts and initiatives of the individual saccos.

Mr Stephen Nabende, the chairperson Unatu Sacco, said the business sizes are small in most of the teachers’ saccos, taking into account savings and loan volumes.

“Teachers’ Saccos are currently struggling to improve the teachers’ economic welfare and also contribute ultimately to the quality of education. They have abundant potential but currently tap less than 30 per cent. Out of 150, 000 teachers in Uganda, teachers’ Saccos have less than 40, 000 members,” Mr Nabende said.

Showing his dissatisfaction with the government’s handling of teachers’ issues, Mr John Opiyo, the chairperson Tiiki Adaa Cooperative Savings and Credit Society Ltd in Gulu District, said their Sacco had applied for a liability of Shs100 million from the Ministry of Trade and Industry but not even received Shs30 million for two years.

However, his disappointment was that the liability date expired this year without ever receiving the money. He added that once the Saccos are united under one union, it will be easy for them to improve their welfare.

pahimbisibwe@ug.nationmedia.com