Teachers deserve equal treatment

A teacher conducts a class session. All students enrolling in Uganda to train as teachers effective 2021/2022 academic year will study for four years. PHOTO/FILE 

What you need to know:

  • More so, both Arts and Science teachers are still subject to the same demands of this economy. 

 Following the recent strike by the teachers of Arts and humanities, I got concerned as a scientist, teacher and an aspiring policy maker.

I write as a bona fide scientist considering the fact that I did a Bachelor of Science in Telecommunications Engineering, worked as a telecommunications engineer (core network) for seven years and I am now an ICT consultant and educator.

The notion of overlooking Arts and humanities contravenes the concept and spirit of holistic education.  Quality and authentic education ought to be holistic! 

Holistic education entails educating the whole person, beyond core academics. The practical job market is realising that our university graduates need more than just a strong foundation in a core curriculum; they also need to be supported by a community and to develop a compassionate understanding of the world around them. It’s only through Arts and humanities that we can have a compassionate understanding of our society and the world.

Arts and humanities allow educators to address the emotional, social, ethical, and academic needs of students in an integrated learning format. Here, students are taught to reflect on their actions and how they impact the local and global community, as well as how to learn from the community around them. 

Science can be defined as the observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of natural phenomena. The word ‘Science’ comes from the Latin word ‘scientia’ meaning ‘knowledge’ and in the broadest sense it is any ‘systematic knowledge-base’. 

Before we crucify our benevolent Arts and humanities teachers, we need to realise that science students are also still in the domain of ‘knowledge-base’.

What makes them unique is their systematic approach. However, there is another level in Sciences that involves synthesis, analysis, demonstration and innovation but this level can only come through spaced-repetition, critical thinking and problem solving. 

Unfortunately, the Science we learn in most Ugandan schools and universities does not fully guarantee innovation and value addition.  It is evident that a number of Science graduates are job seekers just as their fellow Arts counterparts. 

Upon implementing a science concept or theory and solving a real-world problem, a scientist still needs proper marketing, collaboration and presentation skills in order to thrive. It is also true that there are so many scientists who can hardly draft a project proposal, write business plan or market a concept or convince any audience  due to inadequate attention given to Arts and humanities during their time at school. This is appalling indeed!

More so, both Arts and Science teachers are still subject to the same demands of this economy. A teacher is like a cow which when fed well, produces more milk.

A well-motivated teacher will deliver to the uttermost.  Arts teachers also need better pay in order to cope with the ‘middle income economy’. 

I therefore appeal to the government of the Republic of Uganda to accord equal attention to all teachers with regards to remuneration. We need each other!

Benard Awuko, ICT practitioner and university Instructor


Give teachers allowances 

Ugandan teachers are always at school  from Monday to Friday and sometimes Saturday from 8am to 5pm.

Majority of them don’t have any other job or time to do other jobs. What makes it even worse teachers entirely depend on a monthly salary which is not enough to cater for their essential needs.

They have no weekly allowances inform of feeding, housing, healthcare, and transport.  These same teachers have families to feed and bills to pay,  and the economy is more harsh than before.  

An average teacher in Uganda has atleast two loans they are servicing.  This is not  because they enjoy  taking debt but the condition in which they survive in this country forces them to borrow.

So if the government doesn’t want to increase their salary, at least let them provide weekly allowances to these teachers. 

Henry Jaloch, Student