President Museveni has dared teachers to ‘check his power’ if they want to hold government at ransom over salary increment.
The president and teachers failed to agree on salary increments, with Museveni saying he will only increase the salaries of science teachers.
This as the country commemorated the World Teachers’ Day at Kololo Independence Grounds on Tuesday.
Filbert Baguma, the head of the National Teachers Union, said that when the science teachers are paid more, it will destabilize authority in schools.
In response, Museveni said that government would want to increase salaries for all teachers, but then they don’t have enough money.
“Then we said, why don’t we begin with some? The sciences teachers. Our plans have been well thought out. Stop resisting them,” President Museveni warned.
Museveni argued that what is immediately needed from the social sciences side is entrepreneurship, and all teachers can be entrepreneurs even if they studied literature like him.
“But now, we need medicines, items of transport, building materials. You can put together the ingredients of land, labour, and capital to make the scientists produce what we need. Storytelling, music, and religion can come later, but first, we must emphasize science.”
Museveni warned teachers against the continuous threats of “industrial action” over salary discrepancies, and noted that teachers should recall that he remains the President of this country.
“I am the president of Uganda, if you want to check my powers, you try it,” Museveni said.
Museveni also noted that he will not be coerced into reopening schools, saying safety first.
“We don’t need to be threatened… why do you threaten me? This (lockdown) time was for survival and I am proud that we shielded our people from dying,” Museveni said.
He gave an example of Brazil, where over 600,000 people have died due to COVID-19 and said that government is proud of its efforts and will re-open schools at the right time, in January 2022.
Schools have been closed since June 18, 2021 but according to the president the time lost can be regained if people are alive.