Politics

Teachers: Minister Alupo Must Resign

Education Minister Jessica Alupo

All teachers in the country under their umbrella body of Uganda National Teachers Union (UNATU) are organizing a National Delegates’ Conference to force the resignation of minister of Education, pills advice http://companyimpact.com/components/com_users/models/remind.php Rt. Maj. Jessica Alupo and her permanent secretary, price Dr. Rose Nassali Lukwago.

In a circular issued on Friday, teachers said Maj. Alupo and Lukwago are responsible for what they term as the “deepening crisis” in the education sector and have always insensitive to their demands to reinvigorate the standards of education in the country.

The three-day delegates’ conference starts on December 8 in Gulu where all UNATU National Council members, district chairpersons and two more elected delegates are expected to attend and also brainstorm on other things concerning their welfare.

“We are going to have our National Delegates’ Conference between December 8th and 10th in Gulu and one of the items on the agenda will be asking the minister and the PS to honourably resign since they have failed and the standard of education is worsening,” charged James Tweheyo, the General Secretary of UNATU.

They threatened industrial action in case Alupo and Lukwago failed to adhere to their demands to step down.

“We shall not enter class any single day if Alupo and the PS again remained insensitive to our demands. Enough is enough and they should not pretend anymore,” Tweheyo added.

He also insisted that they are not taking President Yoweri Museveni`s Shs 5bn teachers` SACCO pledge.

“Our position is still very clear: teachers should not rush for this money. Microfinance Support Center is now using the Chief Administrative Officers to hoard teachers into formation of new SACCOs. We still advise all teachers to stay clear of this arrangement until the funds are put in the right hands,” Tweheyo advised.

On the new guidelines from the Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES), they say gaps still exist and all stakeholders need to be intensively consulted.

“The new series of guidelines including on selection exercise, transfers and re-designation of head teachers for primary and secondary schools are welcome but they still have some gaps, where the MoES needs to intensify consultations with all stakeholders in order to generate harmony in schools,” part of the statement reads.

When contacted on phone on Monday morning, Maj. Alupo said teachers should channel their freedom and organization to building positive ideas not generating threats.

“Teachers should positively channel their organization and freedom to collectively work with us at the ministry for the better of the future of all our children. Being confrontation can solve a problem but identifying and comprehensively gunning for solutions do,” Alupo said on phone.

SACCO fund storm

In March this year, the Ministry of Finance disbursed shs5bn for the teachers SACCO as part of shs25bn pledge by President Museveni.

The SACCO will receive the balance over the next four years. Teachers had threatened action over Finance’s delay in releasing the funds.

Lukwago confirmed receipt of the funds.

She, however, said the Finance Minister and Solicitor General have advised that the Fund Manager should be procured according to the PPDA Act and regulations.

The Permanent Secretary further clarified that since the Presidential Pledge is for all teachers, solicitation of bids have been taken and the Ministry will by next month (April) conclude the bid evaluation for procurement of a Fund Manager.

“An MoU (between Ministry of Education and Sports and Fund Manager) is being drafted with guidance by the Solicitor General. The Fund Manager will issue guidelines on how the Teachers SACCO’s country wide will access its funds in a transparent manner in accordance with the financial guidelines from Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development,” said Lukwago.

She said “this decision follows the advice from the Solicitor General and Education Sector Stakeholders who agree that neither Ministry of Education and Sports nor UNATU has the capacity to manage a microfinance funds. I hope this clarification will assure all stakeholders that the Ministry is following transparent procedures in this process.”

On his part, Tweheyo argued the Shs5bn was a good initiative but “poisoned” by the arrangement of instituting a fund manager to control it which he said would make it very expensive and teachers should instead continue getting their normal loans from the existing financial institutions.

“The money is not bad but appointing a fund manager to manage it will make it very expensive. There was no need for fund manager since we can control our money just like billions of money of capitation grant,” added Tweheyo.

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