As schools opened last week for candidates and finalists after a seven-month closure due to the coronavirus pandemic back in March, many stakeholders especially private school owners were shocked by the decision by government to pay registration fees for candidates in government aided schools at the expense of those private schools.
Some of the private school teachers we spoke to didn’t give government any kind words as all of them were closed.
Kabala William George, a teacher from Lakeside College Luzira said that the move was uncalled for. “That was absolutely uncalled for since most of the schools in the country are privately owned,” he stated.
Namabala Teopista Kahunde, another teacher from St Joseph’s Girls Secondary School Nsambya shared the same sentiment with his colleague from Lakeside, labeling the move unfair, since all the candidates are Ugandans and there is need for fair treatment for all students.
On how her school is observing the SOPs set by the Education Ministry, Nambala had this to say. “I must say that we are observing the SOPs very well and even beyond. We are observing the social distance, sanitization, wearing of masks”.
On how what lessons he has learnt has a teacher during the COVID-19 lockdown, Kabala had this to say, “It has taught me to think outside the box. As a teacher I should also look somewhere else apart from the teaching profession, but it has been a lesson to me and to all my fellow teachers that we should focus outside the teaching profession for activities that can complement our income as teachers such that we don’t see the teaching profession as a curse”.
He also called upon government to set up a salary board to ensure that their remuneration is increased.
The teachers made these statements yesterday while attending a seminar on sharing cultural and educational experiences in Korea with Ugandan teachers at Duomo Hotel in Mbuya; a Kampala suburb organized by the South Korean Embassy in Uganda, where they learnt about the teaching profession in South Korea and how they can include it in their teaching programs here in Uganda.
Hanhee Woo; and official from the Embassy said that they are working with the National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC) to include the Korean History, culture and economic development of the country into the Ugandan syllabus to foster relations with Korea by having exchange programs and offering of scholarships to Ugandan teachers to study in South Korea so that they learn the same techniques of investing in practical and innovative education, that spurred the former’s economic development.
President Yoweri Museveni who wants students to be safe from Covid:19 may help to the parents and private schools that have cried out to government.