Discrimination in salary will not improve teaching and learning

A teacher is seen during a class session in Uganda. PHOTO/FILE

What you need to know:

Ugandans, in my view government has failed to identify the problem in the education sector, and now it is giving a wrong diagnosis and therefore the “Sick man” will not heal

Fellow Ugandans, I greet you all. Allow me to express my views on the issue of discriminating in salary between scientists and none scientists on an educational perspective. Let us ask ourselves these questions:

1. Is it entirely true that sciences are performed poorly because of low payment to science teachers?

2. Is a teacher paid only to teach the subject matter?

3. Shall we see an improvement in performance of science subjects as a result of increment of salary of a science teacher?

4. Will the move to discriminate in salary enhance harmony in schools between science and teachers of humanities?

5. If the government intends to increase salary in a phased manner, does it require discrimination in order to achieve this goal?

6. The president said he will increase the salary for science teachers so that they can concentrate and perform better. Should teachers of humanities slow down work in order to be given priority?

7. If science is the only key to success, why is it that if one passes science and fails English, one cannot pass in grade one?

Ugandans, in my view government has failed to identify the problem in the education sector, and now it is giving a wrong diagnosis and therefore the “Sick man” will not heal. Poor performance in science is mainly due to the use of rudimentary pedagogies of teaching.

Modern pedagogies require use of the internet in order to get knowledge with ease.

Government should buy laptops for all learners in secondary schools, then provide free internet for schools.

Teachers should also be given laptops so that they can put their work on laptops. This will enable teachers to effectively give work to learners both in the classroom and even when they are at home.

Each classroom should have a projector that will help a teacher demonstrate to learners a number of things.

The rudimentary pedagogies of teaching like dictating notes for learners is time wasting and do not foster deeper understanding. Teachers are not easily accessible to the learners and are unable to answer learners’ queries on time. The internet can close that gap.

Teachers don’t carry out experiments especially in chemistry for fear of being intoxicated.

Government should procure protective gear for teachers who work in laboratories. This affects learning. Learners cannot express themselves effectively in English, especially in rural schools. Our primary

Schools should focus on the communication skills of learners. This affects learning at subsequent levels.

Government should know that teachers are not only paid for teaching subject matter. They have other responsibilities. For example extracurricular activities, guidance and counseling, weekly duty, etc. Before you discriminate, consider that.

Because of the above constraints, even if you discriminate by millions, you will not see any tangible.  Improvement in science. Discrimination will demotivate team work. It will also create disharmony.

Science is good and can foster development, create employable people, but that does not call for discrimination. Moreover, science teachers did not push for it, the head of state initiated it. We had one union for teachers, now discrimination has divided us. We have succumbed to the divide tactics of the regime.

This is a dangerous trend, because the teachers in schools of both arts and sciences should work in harmony in order to develop a learner.

Discrimination will also create an administrative crunch. Administrators with low payment will bend low anticipating “kittu kidogo”.

The wages one earns help to maintain integrity. It gives one power and respect. One wonders about the level of controversy in government. If wages don’t matter, why do you pay the Governor Bank of Uganda, civil aviation, city council and heads of authorities highly? Why not pay them peanuts?

Discrimination will take the vice of corruption to lower levels of society where it had not reached. Once this happens the nation will be in ruins.

Income inequality has never been a good phenomenon. It will eat up the gains so far reached in the education sector.

The government should not forget the collective bargaining agreement our unions made with the government. That agreement took a lot of time, we should also respect the people who made it. Our beloved President, Please, do not employ capitalism on us the teachers of humanities, it is a dangerous weapon. Have mercy on us.

Fazil Matovu, Secondary school teacher       

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