Can private schools be compelled to take care of starving teachers?

Friday July 17 2020



Caroline Mboijana

Caroline Mboijana 

By Caroline Mboijana

Dear Caroline,
Teachers in private schools haven’t been paid since March when the lockdown started and and no sign of being paid. We don’t know when the lockdown will eventually end, but we are starving. Some private schools are outside Kampala and so we haven’t received government relief. Can we compel our employer to feed us or should we appeal to the government and how? What should we do? We are starving, and have families to take care of. Thanks, Liz, starving private school teacher.

Dear Liz,
The matter of schools opening is still under review and as we can see this is a very challenging situation as leaders, educators and health authorities grapple with how best they can open schools and ensure the safety of both teachers and students. You need to appreciate it’s difficult for school leadership to find ways of supporting its employees with payment when students are not in school and are therefore unable to earn revenue that is required to pay staff.

It’s advisable for teacher to speak with their leadership and see how an arrangement can be reached, where staff are paid a percentage of their salary in the same way some businesses have implemented strategies of paying staff 50 per cent of their salary during the lockdown period. This proposal is only temporary and unlike businesses that are slowly opening up and therefore have an opportunity to earn revenue to pay staff, the reality for schools is significantly different.
Since we do not know when schools are likely to re-open and you should use this time as an opportunity to re-invent yourself and use your skills to serve others in your nearby community.

If you have a group of parents who are in need of your services, are willing to pay, you have the learning material and are trained to coach the age group, then it’s an opportunity for you to taken on such a project. Before you embark on this project, I would advise you review you contract ascertain that you’re allowed to do so. In addition you may want to review the legal statues that govern the education sector and check there are no legal requirements that need to be adhered to and of course it goes without saying abide with the health guidelines.

You may want to consider providing the services online if you have the tools, apps etc that make this possible. While Covid has come with challenges it has also come with opportunities that we should take advantage of. Good luck.

Caroline Mboijana,
Managing Director,
The Leadership Team (U)
cmboijana@gmail.com

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