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Hoima Teachers Leaving Profession Due to Low Pay, Say Leaders

Hoima District | THE BLACK EXAMINER | Leaders in the education sector, representing both Hoima District and Hoima City, have expressed deep concern over the alarming rate at which teachers are leaving their profession prematurely. They are urging the government to take immediate action.

During the World Teachers’ Day celebration at Hoima Public Primary School in Hoima City, the Chairperson of the Uganda National Teachers Union (UNATU) Hoima Branch, Ms. Robinah Kabayaga, disclosed that numerous teachers are leaving their profession at an early stage due to their inadequate monthly salaries. Ms. Kabayaga emphasized that the current salary levels do not enable teachers to meet their basic personal and household needs, forcing them to consider alternative career paths within Uganda’s economic sector.

While specific statistics were not provided, Ms. Kabayaga noted that a significant number of teachers are turning to agriculture, resulting in a shortage of teaching personnel. She highlighted that primary school Arts subject teachers are particularly affected, earning a meager monthly stipend of Shs460,000, which is insufficient to sustain a decent standard of living in Uganda’s challenging economic environment.

Ms. Kabayaga also revealed that some teachers are applying for early retirement without adequate preparation for life after service, leading to financial difficulties, psychological distress, and regret. Despite her efforts to advise against premature retirement, she expressed frustration at the lack of response from teachers.

To address this issue, Ms. Kabayaga recommended that teachers participate in various teachers’ savings schemes to prepare for a smoother transition into retirement at the age of 60. She emphasized the importance of patience among teachers.

However, it remains a challenge for teachers to escape their financial difficulties, given that many operate on a deficit budget at the household level.

Mr. James Kiiza, the Chairperson of UNATU Hoima City Branch, called on the government to address teachers’ salary concerns, as the current earnings are insufficient to meet their household, medical, and educational needs. He remained optimistic that the government would take action to rectify the situation and ensure fairness.

Ms. Harriet Basemera, the Head Teacher of Hoima Public Primary School, acknowledged that she had not received any reports of teachers applying for early retirement at her institution. However, she believed that low pay must be the driving factor behind such decisions. She urged the government to increase salaries for Arts subject teachers, as they play a crucial role alongside science teachers in maintaining a balanced job market in Uganda.

Mr. Michael Muramira Kyakashari, the Hoima Deputy Resident District Commissioner, who was a guest speaker at the event, raised concerns about alcoholism among some teachers, tarnishing the reputation of the profession. He recommended counseling and guidance for such teachers and stressed the importance of teachers serving as positive role models for the children they educate.

Additional Reporting: Kazi Njema News

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