The National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC) was on Tuesday morning forced to suspend training sessions as teachers walked out of the training room in protest of a reduction in allowances meant for them.
NCDC is conducting a countrywide training for teachers over the new national curriculum unveiled by the Education Ministry. For Acholi region, the training started on Monday at Sacred Heart SS in Gulu Town and will last for five days.
Teachers who spoke to Daily Monitor said that they were disappointed in NCDC after it declared on Tuesday morning that the additional Shs25,000 per day for feeding and accommodation would no longer be given except the transport refund.
According to Mr Amos Akena Onyuta, one of the participants, NCDC officials said on Monday that each teacher would be entitled to an additional Shs25,000 per day for feeding and accommodation on top of a Shs30,000 transport refund, causing protest in the teachers when they withdrew the offer.
“I can’t be kept here for all these five days and be given Shs30,000. It is meaningless. What they told us on Monday was fair for us since it is a training but when they withdrew that position this morning, it all lost meaning,” Mr Akena said.
“Whatever they agreed to pay the host school should not affect our allowances, whether we sleep and eat from here or from outside, that daily allowance counts a lot for me and it is what we are demanding them before the training proceeds,” he added.
Ms Prossy Auma said unless NCDC withdraws the statement and gives the Shs25,000 to participants, they would not give up the protest.
“I am already suspicious of their way of dealing with things because they are issuing conflicting statements every day. We are demanding for transparency from them and giving us that money,” Ms Auma said.
But Mr Bernard Janja, an NCDC official at the training told this reporter that the demands by the teachers were unrealistic since the Shs30,000 allowance per day they budgeted for every teacher was relatively enough.
“That is another challenge. It is a training not a workshop where they are coming to help us develop the curriculum and expect us to pay them huge amounts of allowances. It becomes very challenging when we begin paying them like that because we did not have enough money for that,” Mr Janja said.
Mr Janja said that participants who messed up the programme were teachers who fluked into the training without invitation.
“If you look among the people outside there, many of them fluked in and registering in the names of schools they never came from until we demanded for identification. But we are not chasing them although they are the ones confusing the rest,” he added.