By Jumah Nsubuga
Parliamentary committee on education and sports chaired by Mityana district woman MP Sylvia Namabidde has threatened not to approve the ministry of education budget for this financial year if the ministry fails to look for 20% teacher’s salary increment as it was directed by the president.
While interfacing with officials from the ministry of education and sports led by the state minister in charge of primary education, Kamanda Bataringaya, legislators confirmed to officials from the ministry of education that, the committee will not approve the ministry’s budget due to its failure to find teachers money.
The angry legislators tasked minister Bataringaya to assure the nation whether they have found teachers money. The minister said that meetings are still going on between Uganda National Association of Teachers Union (UNATO), government and a technical committee chaired by the permanent secretary of the ministry of education.
The minister added that officials from this group will report tomorrow to the inter-ministerial committee about the progress of teachers 20% salary increment.
Legislators that included Angela Osege, Joseph Sewungu, Christian Acayo, Kamara Nzeyimaana and Amero Suzan among further tasked minister Batalingaya to be clear and tell teachers whether they have found the money for salary increments or not.
“The president asked you (ministry) to look for teacher’s money. It’s like you are not sure that your ministry has got teachers money yet Mr President directed you to look for the money. We want you to be direct and say that, you don’t have the money and look for the way forward instead of wasting time with the so called technical committees pretending that you are working on teachers matter yet you are wasting time” Said Nebbi district woman MP Christian Acayo.
“The issue of teacher’s salary is paramount. If the ministry has failed to get teachers 20%, they should go back and will only come back to this committee after getting teachers money” Said Kalungu west MP Joseph Sewungu.
“There is no way we shall approve your budget for this year if government assurance of teacher’s salary increment of 20% is not implemented. How can our committee (of education) report to parliament that government has failed to fulfill its commitment to teachers? The only way to force your to look for teachers money, is to halt the approval of your budget until teachers money is found” Said the committee boss Sylvia Namabidde.
Hon Suzan Amero further moved a motion to chase the minister with his officials from the committee due to the failure to explain the fate of teachers salary and was seconded by Hon Sewungu but it was later rejected by the committee boss Sylvia Namabidde saying that, minister with his officials have other issues to explain to the committee as far as education sector is concerned.