Ministry of Education and Sports has announced that it is embarking on organizing private school teachers so that there is a representative structure from school level through district and up to the national level through which teachers can access their 20 billion shillings grant promised to them by President Museveni.
To alleviate the economic stress of teachers in private schools caused by the loss of regular income resulting from COVID-19 enforced closure of schools, President Museveni in one of his COVID-19 addresses to the nation offered a grant of 20 billion shillings as a relief fund to support teachers’ SACCOs of private schools.
After many months, teachers have not yet received this money.
Initially, the fund was provided as part of the “Emyooga” programme through Microfinance Support Centre (MSC).
However, there were concerns that most teachers are not organized under SACCOs through which they could access the funds from MSC and that MSC would not be able to identify the genuine private school teachers and may not have an effective mechanism to disburse the grant to the teachers.
Museveni eventually guided that the money should be removed from the Emyooga programme in MSC and given to teachers to manage it through their structures.
According to the statement issued by the Ministry of Education and Sports Permanent Secretary Alex Kakooza, the Education Ministry following Museveni’s guidance engaged seven organizations that came forward as representing teachers in private schools, but it was established that the seven organizations did not have the membership or national reach to represent the majority teachers in private schools across the country.
“They (seven organizations) also did not have structures at grass root level through which the teachers could access the funds,” said Kakooza.
“Consequently, it was resolved that the Ministry of Education and Sports would immediately embark on organising teachers in private schools so that there is a representative structure from school through district and up to national level through which the teachers can access the fund among other things. This will be completed by the end of the year,” he added.
Such a structure he said will eventually lead to the establishment of “a national Apex SACCO” for teachers in private schools to take over management of the revolving fund in the near future.
“This is therefore to allay the concerns of the teachers as well as the general public and reassure everyone that the delay in operationalizing the fund has been occasioned by the need to ensure that a fair and sustainable mechanism is put in place,” Kakooza said.
He called on District Education Officers to support the ongoing process of establishing school and district associations of private schools’ teachers as guided by the circular issued by the Ministry.