Ugandan Students supporting their Teachers in Kampala
Teachers in Uganda are to renew their strike call in their struggle for a living wage
As already reported on this site, primary teachers in Uganda earn only a little over $100 a month - yet as the leader of the Ugandan National Association of Teachers (UNATA) Teopista Birungi points out, teachers are held accountable for the quality of education. With such low salaires - like so many other teachers in the Global South - Ugandan teachers have to concentrate on a struggle for their own survival and that of their families at the same time as they are supposed to give children an education.
Not only this but the conditions in schools are very bad with poor infrastucture and huge class sizes. A report from the UK Department for International Development (DfID) admits that primary school classes in Uganda are commonly over 100 yet it says:
"The notion that large classes result in learning deficits needs to be challenged. As large classes will remain the norm, education planners in developing countries need to focus on the 3Rs – reading, writingand arithmetic, and avoid broad curricula."
So teachers are expected to teach classes of over 100 - a number which no teacher in an OECD country would contemplate teaching - this is not supposed to make any difference to pupil achievement and children are expected to have a pauperised curriculum restricted to reading, writing and arithmetic. On top of this teachers are expected to work for salaries which barely keep them alive.
It is no wonder then that teachers in Uganda are proposing to continue their struggle for a living wage and for proper education funding for schools. They are fighting not only for themselves but for the children of Uganda who have the same right to a broad and balanced curriculum, personal attention from teachers and decent facilities and learning materials as children in the US, the EU or any other part of the world.