Experts ask Museveni to rescind pay rise for scientists

President Museveni

Experts in the education sector have asked President Museveni to review the pay rise for science teachers, claiming the increment threatens to tear them apart.
The request comes at a time when teachers under their umbrella, the Uganda National Teachers Union (Unatu), are on strike over what they describe as discriminatory salary enhancement.

The industrial action started on June 15.
Speaking to the media in Kampala yesterday, Mr Muhammad Kiggundu Musoke, a lecturer of religious education and a leading scholar of Islam at Makerere University, said the current impasse has destructed the education sector across the country.
“Our appeal to President Museveni is to review the pay rise because it is unfair and creates injustice, which will destroy the education of our future generation,’’ he said. 
 
Uniform increment

Mr Kiggundu said people holding the same type of degree certificates feel cheated.
“We are not against science, but the salary should be uniform. Government should also create a research fund, which will promote people’s interest in science,” he said. 

Mr Kiggundu added: “We are partners in this development and ready to talk and discuss to see how we can push our country forward.” 
Mr Fagil Mandy, an educationalist, said it is unwise to isolate some teachers and prefer to increase the salary of others.
“The same message does not go to teachers only, but also involves other workers in different sectors in Uganda,” he said.

Teachers image
Mr Mandy said the focus should be building the image of the teachers’ profession so that they shape the future of the country. 
“We are jumping on increasing the salary and leaving the dying image of the teachers. I think it is not right to only consider science teachers among those contributing for Uganda greatly,” he said.  While speaking during their weekly press conference in Kampala yesterday, Democratic Party spokesperson Opio Okoler said the disparity in salary increment could be a trap to destroy the solidarity of teachers.
“We have two labour unions for teachers, yet previously, there was one, which is Unatu. As we speak now, we have Uganda Professional Science Teachers’ Union (UPSTU).’’

Mr Okoler added that as DP, they urge science teachers not to imagine that because their salary increment has been considered in the Budget,  its time to party.  “We advise the teachers to work together and hold government accountable,” he said. 

Approving the budget 
In May, Cabinet approved more than Shs400 billion to enhance salaries for scientists, including science teachers, the Minister for ICT and National Guidance, Dr Chris Baryomunsi, revealed.
Dr Baryomunsi said the money was earmarked in the 2022/2023 national Budget. 
The national Budget for this financial year is estimated at about Shs47 trillion. 

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