Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has ordered the Ministry of Public Service to increase the salaries of head and deputy head teachers in secondary schools specialising in science.
In a letter dated July 1 and addressed to Public Service Minister Wilson Muruli Mukasa, Museveni said he had received a letter from the Minister of Education and Sports stating that the salaries of head and deputy head teachers had not been increased.
“I have received a letter from the First Lady and the Minister of Education informing me that science teachers who are head teachers and deputy head teachers are being punished for holding these positions,” Mr Museveni said.
The president’s choice of words could mean many things, but in the context of his government’s stance on science, the head of state seems to be inferring that since all science teachers have had their salaries improved, head and deputy head teachers qualified to teach science should have had the same.
“This is totally irrational,” Mr Museveni said of the anomaly.
“Once a science teacher, always a science teacher. They should be paid as such until the government has enough money to pay all teachers well, and then we can review the rank of head teacher.”
Efforts to increase the salaries of science teachers began in 2017, after President Museveni revealed his plans to do so with immediate effect.
During the teachers’ retreat at State House in 2017, he promised to increase the salaries of science teachers. However, his directive was not implemented until 2021.
The 300 per cent pay hike saw the salaries of graduate and Grade V teachers increase from
Ush1.1 million and Ush796,000 respectively to Ush4 million and Ush3 million.
This led to frustration not only among arts teachers but also among head teachers and deputy head teachers who were left out.
The headteachers, who petitioned the government, said they were finding it difficult to manage staff who were earning twice as much as them.
Mr Aron Mugaiga, the secretary general of the Uganda Professional Science Teachers Union (UPSTU), commended President Museveni for increasing the salaries of science heads.
“Heads of institutions had been receiving old salaries after the government failed to increase their salaries in 2021.
We have been fighting against this inequality and we are grateful that our prayers have been answered,” said Mr Mugaiga.According to him, when the government increased the salaries of science teachers, all heads of other institutions (diploma and certificate) saw their salaries rise from Ush2.3 million to Ush6.5 million and deputy heads from Ush1.7 million to Ush4.5 million.
The chairman of the Uganda Head Teachers’ Association, Mr Augustine Mugabo, expressed hope that this would be implemented.”I pray that this will be implemented because President Museveni has said that he will address one issue and then move on to others.
Since he is finalising salaries for science teachers, we are waiting for him to address art teachers next,” said Mr Mugabo.
Mr Muruli said the President’s directive was being worked on.
“The technical team has reviewed it and is coming up with the necessary budget.We are currently seeking the funds to ensure that this is implemented,” Mr Muruli said in a telephone interview.
When asked about the amount required, he said he was out of the office and referred us to the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Public Service.
Ms Catherine Bitarakwate did not respond to our calls by press time.
“I pray that this will be implemented because President Museveni has said that he will address one issue and then move on to others.
Since he is finalising the salaries of science teachers, we are waiting for him to address the arts teachers next,” said Mr Augustine Mugabo, chairman of the Uganda Head Teachers’ Association.