Government has come under fire after The State Minister of Higher Education in the Ministry of Education and Sports, John Muyingo (in featured photo) issued a directive to have all teachers obtain degrees if they are to retain jobs.
Reacting to government’s move, Kalungu East MP, Joseph Ssewungu, a teacher by profession who is passionate about education described the directive as stupid and unresearched.
The lawmaker says that although he isn’t against teachers obtaining higher levels of education, he called on government to first fulfill its pledge of increasing salaries of teachers who obtained degrees but their payment hasn’t increased.
He made the remarks while addressing journalists today at Parliament, wondering why Government is hell bent on asking teachers to obtain degrees well knowing there is no money to increase their salaries and make them commensurate with their level of education.
“It isn’t degrees that determine what the teacher teaches. Are you paying teachers commensurate to their services? Teachers Training Colleges have failed to recruit teachers because conditions are too strong. Where are those facilities you have put in place to enable teachers acquire degrees. I don’t know who educates these ministers, who researches for them to research on plight of teachers,” Ssewungu said.
Teachers have been given 10years to fulfill the requirement or risk being struck off the payroll.
Ssewungu said there is need for the Ministry of Education to put in place systems and facilities at National Teachers Training Colleges as well as harmonize the salary structure within the education sector.
“Before you talk about qualification of teachers, first pay all those with degrees. It isn’t qualification of teachers that determines teaching, but system that determines teaching. You have no money to pay teachers, but you want bachelors!” he said.
He added: “That is a very stupid statement; it is very stupid and unbecoming. Are you paying those with degrees as per their degrees? Can Museveni pay teachers with degrees?”
Ssewungu blamed Muyingo of abandoning fellow teachers.
“He (Muyingo) is drunk on NRM to the extent he is rotten. In five years, we shall not have teachers teaching primary schools. Since 2010, no teacher has been paid based on their level of education as per the scheme of service end. All they do is move around with flagged cars. If you don’t carry out research as a Minister, all that will come out from your mouth is nonsense,” the lawmaker said.