The Uganda National Teachers’ Union(UNATU) has asked the government for an additional allocation of money in the education sector given that it has been greatly hit by Covid-19.
UNATU said the sector needs a 20% share of the National resource envelope although all the learning institutions have been closed due to the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic.
The education sector was allocated shs 3.65 trillion for the next financial year.
The general secretary UNATU, Filbert Baguma, said there is a lot of money that is needed in the sector to enforce the standard operating procedures that will be put in place when schools reopen.
His comments came after the 2020/2021 Budget reading on Thursday that left many critics punching holes into the document.
Some analysts argued that the budget as very unbalanced thus a need to have it realigned to deal with the effects brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Baguma said in this kind of situation, priority should be given to the health of learners, teachers, and other support staff within the school premises by making sure that all guidelines are well observed.
“Even if we were not in this new normal of the Covid-19 crisis, the money would still not be enough because the Ministry of Education should be allocated at least 20% of the national budget, “he said.
In the current situation where schools need to enforce social distancing, Baguma called for the recruitment of more teachers who will handle the number of learners in the classrooms and manage the dormitories among others.
“We have to follow the standard operating procedures and you are looking at social distancing. In one class where you have been having more than 53 learners. That means you will be having 4 classes and every teacher is supposed to teach a class,” he said.
Baguma said many schools may not be able to handle all the requirements during this situation. He asked the Ministry of Health to assure parents how their children will be safe at school.
“There is still room that once the ministry of Health guides and the government puts in place SOPs for all schools, the school calendar can still be revised,” he said.