here geneva;”>The coalition of six NGOs is concerned over that the majority of pupils cannot solve simple numerical sums.
healing geneva;”>“The government policy on automatic promotion of children from one class to another irrespective of grades scored has only facilitated the churning out of poor quality students. The country is in danger of becoming uncompetitive in the global market because of the quality of its human resource”, said Rev. Fr. Dr. Silvester Rwomukubwe the Executive Secretary of the Uganda Joint Christian Council.
Presenting the petition to the Deputy Speaker of Parliament Rt. Hon. Jacob Oulanyah at his Parliament chambers on Tuesday, the civil society coalition, asked Parliament to amend the Education Act to require parents to make a mandatory financial contribution towards lunch for their children at school.
“We have hungry children in our schools. Parents and guardians have abdicated their duty to provide food to their children while in school. The UPE guidelines which demand that children carry food to school have not been successful,” he noted.
The teachers also demanded that government considers an upward review of their salaries from Shs273, 000 to Shs546, 000.
They decried the failure by government to enable the Uganda National Teachers Union to collectively bargain over their salaries and allowances.
“The quality and quantity of teachers is wanting. Teacher absenteeism is high and teachers’ motivation is at an all time low. A large number of teachers is not on the government pay roll.”
The petitioners confirmed to Parliament that over 80% of the children in UPE do not eat lunch on a daily basis.
The activists want Parliament o help reduce the rate of primary school dropouts that stands at 25%.
They also expressed concern over crowding of pupils into small classrooms and the alarming pupil to teacher ratios that stands at 1 to 60 in many districts.
The Deputy Speaker Rt. Hon. Oulanyah Jacob expressed concern over the failure by parents to contribute to the education of their children. He noted that there was need to address the emerging challenges to the education sector that stretch beyond the welfare of teachers.
Hon. Oulanyah reaffirmed the need to empower parents and communities to interest them in the need to provide and cater for their children.
The petition was presented on the floor of Parliament by Hon. Sseninde Rosemary and referred to the sectoral committee on education and Sports.