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The Education and Sports sector Review takes place at the end of September. It is the moment in the year when all the different education stakeholders come together to discuss and review the previous year and make recommendations for the future.
FENU has also been campaigning to improve the Ministry of Education and Sports’ review, planning and budgeting process.
Improving the links between budgeting and planning should enable the education sector to better implement it’s plans for improving the quality of education in Uganda.
Recent weeks have seen exciting moves forward on this. A briefing on FENU’s recommendations, developed with the Ministry of Education and Sport’s planning department have recently been approved by the Ministry and is available here>>.
Read the new Out of children study in Uganda, a comprehensive study looking at why children in Uganda are out of school. See the study on the FENU website here>>
Find out what FENU has been up to over the last 6 months in our repor ‘FENU work Jan-June 2014’ available here>>.
Read about this year’s Global Action Week, our thematic group work and how we have been working with the Ministry of Education, Parliamentarians and Education Development Partners to campaign for change and improve education in Uganda.
Global action Week 2014 focused on eduction and disability. All over Uganda NGOs worked with learners, teachers, parents, communities, local leaders, MPs, civil servants and government to campaign for all children, including all those with disabilities, to have access to quality education.
To read the full report, including all the action taken across the country by FENU members, please see here>>.
On July 12th 2013, young leaders from around the world convened at the United Nations in support of the United Nations Secretary – General’s Global Education First Initiative. The objective was to ensure that all children, especially girls, are in school and learning by the year 2015. The main event was the youth assembly held in the Trusteeship Council Chamber where Malala Yousafzai celebrated her 16th birthday by addressing hundreds of young leaders who support education for every child. The day also marked the start of a youth movement where the youth representatives from around the world advocate for global education. For the full report see here>>> and for the youth resolution see here>>>
16th September 2013– A press conference was held today at the Forum for Education NGOs in Uganda (FENU). Civil society joined together to call on Government to honour its promise to increase teachers pay.
Teachers have pledged to strike until their pay is increased as promised. Civil Society stressed that if Government does not honour its promise to increase teacher’s pay Uganda’s children will suffer.
The full civil society statement is below:
Civil Society Statement
Teachers Demand for their Promised 20% Salary Increase.
Today – 16th September 2013 as schools countrywide open for the last and most important school term in the year, the teachers have declared an industrial action demanding that Government honours its promise of a pay rise of 20%.
In 2011, when the teachers staged a countrywide sit-down strike demanding for a 100% salary increase (from a paltry 250, 000/= to 500,000/=), Government argued that this money can’t be found. Instead, Government offered a 50% salary increase to be phased over three financial years (2012/13; 2013/14 and 2014/15) – paying 15%; 20% and 15% respectively. For FY2012/13, this promise was honoured and the teachers were paid.
It was in the teachers’ expectations therefore this FY 2013/14 that another 20% salary increase would be paid by Government. However, this has not come to pass. Government seems to be surprisingly going back on its own promise. The argument that the money for teachers cannot be found is a matter of Government priotisation. Negotiations have taken place over the last 3 months over this issue till now when teachers are saying enough is enough, and have laid down their tools. Teachers have also called for moral support from Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Foundation Bodies, Members of Parliament, Public officials, Parents and the Public at large.
As CSOs we feel and believe that teachers’ should first and foremost be treated with the utmost respect they deserve. Mwalimu Julius K. Nyerere once said:
“A nation is as great, as good, as its citizens make it… it is teachers more than any other single group of people who determine attitudes, and who shape the ideas and aspirations of the nation” (Julius K. Nyerere “The Power of Teachers”; 1966).
Mwalimu Nyerere strongly cautioned against the perception of teachers as a powerless group that can be treated in any way any one wishes including intimidation which he called one of the biggest fallacies of our society. For teachers can make or ruin our society. As a group they have power which is second to none. ‘It is not the power of a man with a gun; it is not a power which can be seen by a fool” (Nyerere 1968a: 228).
In this Nyerere underscored the point that even if you coarse and intimidate teachers, they possess some invisible power that cannot be suppressed. This power is at times manifested in deliberate absenteeism and lack of motivation to teach. In Uganda we have already started seeing the results of this power and our failure to respect teachers. This is manifested in the appallingly low learning achievements. For example, government own assessment reports show that, just 17% of S.2 students exhibited the competence expected of them in biology. Other studies have shown that, literacy and numeracy levels at primary level are as low as 10% (UWEZO, 2012).
Given that background and for the sake of millions of Ugandan children, we as CSOs call upon Government to simply honour the promise made to the teachers by increasing their salary by the promised 20% in this FY 2013/14. Empty promises and intimidations to our teachers is a fallacy. No amount of coercion and intimidation can make a teacher teach. An untaught society is a doomed society. We can’t afford such a society.
For God and my Country!
Forum for Education NGOs in Uganda – (FENU)
Uganda National NGO Forum – (UNNGOF)
Development Network for Voluntary Indigenous NGOs (DENIVA)