By David Serumaga
On Monday 1st, Cabinet sat and resolved a number of issues which includes the approval of the National Teachers Policy with the objectives of streamlining the teachers’ management for better productivity, discipline, retention and motivation. This is a sign of empowering and strengthening teachers to do their work of building Uganda’s generation well-heatedly and produce quality output in the education sector as well as increasing on the Uganda’s literacy levels.
In an environment where workers are motivated, it is automatic that absenteeism at work is not experienced, improves employee’s commitment satisfaction and efficiency. Having increased levels and quality output in a sector, it does not only depend on the qualification of the workers but also on their commitment towards work. All this comes when they are well motivated and well disciplined.
This policy will also strengthen pre-service and in-service teacher training. This will enhance competence among teacher and enable them to effectively deliver quality learning outcomes and leadership at all levels of the education cycle. All this comes when teachers are given opportunity to upgrade their knowledge and skills over the full length of their career. It is therefore that Cabinet approved this policy to reorient teacher education to ensure that teachers are furnished with necessary knowledge and skills to cope their new demands placed on them.
For a long period of time, we have been hearing and experiencing stories of employ-teacher exploitation more so in privately owned schools and institutions. For example, less pay, overworking, sexual harassment, and many other issues that violets the rights of our teacher. This is because there has been no policy that protects them the newly approved National Teachers Policy will standardize teacher development, qualifications and practice across all levels of education.
Good education requires good teachers because good results are got from the most capable and committed teachers. Although it is like that, in Uganda, we still have teachers on permanent schedule who teach in more than two schools and we wonder how long do they interact with students? In schools outside Kampala, with the help of media, we noticed teachers who leave their permanent job and spend more time on other jobs like motorcycle riding (boda boda) yet they continue getting their salaries. This policy will handle all these challenges and streamline the integration of cross cutting issues into all aspects of teacher training, management and practice at all levels.
We warmly welcome this policy because it will cut across the government aided schools and institutions and in private owned ones. The police has been long overdue and maybe if it had been implemented before, some of the challenges facing our teachers wouldn’t have been experienced.