Teachers offering TV,  radio lessons not paid for six months

Saturday September 19 2020
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hildren follow lessons on radio during the lockdown. PHOTO/ FILE

By Elizabeth Kamurungi

      
KAMPALA-  About 20 teachers selected from across the country to conduct lessons on radio and television have not been paid facilitation fees since they started the programme in April. 

The teachers are for both secondary and primary levels. 

The arrangement was adopted to ensure continuity of learning following the closure of schools in March as the country took measures to prevent the spread of the Covid-19. 

Some of the teachers who spoke to Saturday Monitor say they were brought together by the commissioner in charge of secondary education at the Ministry of Education, Mr Sam Kuloba, with the knowledge of the Minister of Education, Ms Janet Museveni. 

Both parties say the agreements were reached verbally, and no paperwork was signed. 
“There are no letters of undertaking and that is precarious because there is no way you can have legal backing if you have a claim,” one of the teachers said.

The teachers say they were promised an allowance of Shs100,000 per lesson and a transport reimbursement of Shs50,000 each day they worked.
One of the teachers said they have held several meetings with officials at the Ministry of Education but their issue has not been resolved.  

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Mr Ismael Mulindwa, the director for Basic and Secondary School Education at the Ministry of Education, declined to comment on the matter and referred us to the ministry spokesperson. 

Mr Patrick Muinda, the Ministry of Education spokesperson, said the claims that the ministry has refused to pay are not true. He said the issue has been raised with the ministry and is being handled. 

Mr Muinda explained that there was an arrangement between teachers and the ministry through the State broadcaster, Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) and a memorandum of understanding (MoU)between the two entities.

“Government has standing orders and it stipulates different allowance. This particular activity needs us to have the allowance precisely,” Mr Muinda said.

He added: “What I do know is that teachers have been teaching. This issue was brought up to the Ministry of Education by UBC and it is being handled by management.” 

Saturday Monitor has learnt that some of the teachers have conducted about 70 lessons. This would bring the arrears due to each of those teachers to more than Shs10m.

“This is mid-September (and) not even transport (facilitation) has been offered. It is unfortunate that these teachers are being pushed to lose morale. Students and teachers keep calling from all over the country seeking help and they have offered a really good service,” one of the teachers said.

According to the MoU, the Ministry of Education was to provide transport facilitation for the teachers assigned the responsibility to conduct lessons. The ministry was, through the Covid-19 education taskforce, to liaise with the broadcaster in all matters regarding conducting of radio and television programmes for the continuation of learning for the period between April 24 and June 30.

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