Headteachers Appeal to Parliament On Universal Sponsorship of Upgrading Teachers

Masaka City Headteachers Association-MACHA has petitioned the Speaker of Parliament Anita Among to support their demand for universal sponsorship for upgrading teachers as the government commences the implementation of reforms in the national teachers’ policy. 

Last year, the Ministry of Education and Sports announced the implementation of the national teachers’ policy requiring all teachers to have a bachelor’s degree. Besides phasing out grade three teacher’s training courses in colleges, the Ministry of Education asked the non-graduate teachers to upgrade their qualifications such that they can measure up to the new professional requirements.

But the headteachers in Masaka through their joint petition have appealed to the Speaker of Parliament to push the government to provide universal sponsorship and equal opportunities for teachers in Early Childhood Development-ECD and Primary teachers who wish to upgrade under the government sponsorship scheme. 

In a statement read by Henry Lukyamuzi, the Chairperson of Masaka City Headteachers Association-MACHA during their teachers’ day celebrations at the Masaka Sports Club, the teachers pleaded with the Speaker to move the government to increase the number of vacancies to enable many teachers to upgrade as early as possible. 

According to a recent public advertisement by the Ministry of Education and Sports, the government announced 6,116 vacancies for Primary school teachers who wish to upgrade to Diploma levels and 3,300 slots for ECD teachers for the December intake at Kyambogo University. 

Lukyamuzi notes that the allocation for the next intake is too little compared to the number of teachers who are already due for an upgrade, hence a need for the government to increase the number of slots provided for both sub-sectors. 

“These are some of the unfair tendencies that hinder the advancement of the teaching profession. Apparently, a nursery/kindergarten teacher is at the mercy of private school proprietors, who determine how much to pay them for the time one should be at work. It will become difficult for these teachers to upgrade as required unless government sponsors them,” he indicates.  

He prefers that the government consider an open sponsorship for all teachers who wish to upgrade at any time they wish to do so. On the other hand, the headteachers reiterated their appeal to the government to address the current teachers’ salary inequalities that were recently created when the government implemented the selective enhancement of payment for science secondary school teachers. 

“When a primary school teacher upgrades, even up to Master or Doctorate, whom we already have in the primary subsector, no increment is added onto his/her salary yet we go to the same universities, take the same subject, and course and pay the same tuition,” the petition reads in part. 

According to Lukyamuzi, the association has already registered reports of some of the secondary school Headteachers and their deputies with a bias in science subjects in the area who have already applied for demotion to the classroom in order to benefit from the salary increment. 

The petition delivered through the Masaka City Woman Member of Parliament, Juliet Kakande also sought parliament to cause increments to school capitation grants to enable headteachers to effectively manage the schools.  

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