The minister of Education and Sports Janet Museveni has said that the striking arts teachers have betrayed God and the government of Uganda by putting down tools at a time when the country needs them most.
While addressing local leaders in Ntungamo at the launch of the Parish Development Model (PDM) in the district, the minister wondered what kind of people the teachers are.
“What kind of people are they? Leaders go and tell your teachers that they have betrayed government and Ugandans through their industrial action. They were called to serve,” Janet said.
More than 100,000 arts teachers under their umbrella association of the Uganda National Teachers’ Union (UNATU) are currently on a sit-down strike over discriminatory salary rise.
The teachers accused government of unfairly increasing salaries of their science counterparts.
The Education minister stressed that government did not fault on payment during a time when schools were as closed as the coronavirus ravaged the country and therefore it is to her dismay to see teachers acting like that instead of paying back government for its effort.
“We kept paying them when they were not working, instead of compensating for the lost time, they are now striking..,”she added.
The minister said that teachers should help themselves and return to class because a lot of qualified teachers are on the streets and seeking for jobs.
“There are many teachers on the streets. Recently when we conducted interviews to recruit 3,000 teachers, we received more than 30,000 applicants,” she said.
She said that government, due to a shortage in resources decided to first work on salaries of their science counterparts but assured them at the end of it all, everyone will be sorted out.
On Parish Development Model (PDM)
Janet said that through the PDM, the NRM government has diagnosed the problem of poverty eradication and if the programme is implemented properly, it will develop all parishes and the country at large.
“Ugandans are mostly hardworking people, but the problem is that the extension workers do not reach the grassroots to impart adequate knowledge and necessary skills to the people,” she said.
She appealed to the present leadership of the Ministry of Agriculture to ensure that the extension system efficiently works.