The Ministry of Education and Sports has issued guidelines on how teachers in private schools can access the Shs22b given to them by President Museveni as relief package.
The Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Education, Mr Alex Kakooza, has directed district education officers to work with private schools and establish associations at school level.
“The membership of a private school teachers’ association shall be a qualified and registered teacher, actively engaged in teaching in a private school and not on any government payroll,” he said in a December 8 letter.
Representatives of a private school teachers’ association should have been formally employed in the school before 20th march 2020.
According to the circular, District Education Officers, will not later than the first week of 2021 forward names of chairpersons and organizing secretary from every district to the ministry to participate in the inaugural national meeting to establish a National Private Teachers Association.
President Museveni first pledged a Shs2b grant to private teachers which was later increased to Shs22b. This followed negotiations to see how to support private school owners and their teachers because they were not earning after closure of all education institutions.
The associations had demanded that government at least takes on the wage bill for the private teachers which Mr Museveni declined, saying there was no money. But he offered Shs22b as a relief to the teachers.
The associations estimate that there are over 350,000 private teachers in the country.
Previously, the funds were supposed to be channelled through the Microfinance Support Centre as part of the Emyooga program. However, there has been a lot of disagreement based on the MSC history on handling teachers’ money coupled with lobbying from different teacher associations who wanted to control the fund as well.
First Lady and Minister of Education Janet Museveni ordered in one of the recent meetings at State House that the money which the President donated to the private teachers during the lockdown be separated from the Emyoga programmes.