By Jumah Nsubuga
Opposition MPs have appealed to their colleagues (NRM MPs) not to somersault and change parliament’s decision on teacher’s salary increment.
Parliament last week refused to approve the budget for the Ministry of Education until government fulfills its commitment on teachers.
Speaking to reporters at parliament on Monday ,Budadiri East MP in Sironko district, Johnny Sasaga (FDC) urged teachers not to be threatened but insist on government to listen to their demand.
“I appealed to all NRM MPs not to change their mind in today’s caucus meeting with the president. MPs should insist on parliament’s decision to increase the teachers salary. It will be a big embarrassment to the public if NRM MPs come back from the caucus meeting with another decision. We don’t want president Museveni to convince MPs and they somersault . I call them (MPs) to stand firm on teacher’s salary increment”. He said
This time we are very serious on teachers 20% increment. We shall expose NRM MPs if they come back with another decision contrary to parliament decision. “I appeal to all NRM MPs to disagree with president Museveni if he tries to change their mind on the earlier decision by parliament” Hon Sewungu (DP) noted.
Meanwhile Mubende district woman MP Benny Namugwanya (NRM) said that government should look around for money and increase teacher’s salary.
“It’s a commitment government made to teachers and we have to honor it. What people should know is that teaching is a psychological activity? If a teacher is not happy, he or she will not teach effectively” She said.
She also noted that, “Government can only afford to force teachers back to class but cannot force them to teach effectively. If we want the children of this country to have quality education, we must make sure that teachers are settled psychologically” She added.
“We are not going to be compromised. The quality of education in this country will go down if we fail to get teachers money. As a teacher by professional and former DEO, I know the hardship teachers are going through and am glad that parliament halted the passage of the ministry of education budget until government gets teachers 20% increment. I will stand firm in to day’s caucus meeting to demand for teacher’s money” She noted.
On the contrary ,Sembabule district woman MP Anifa Kawooya said that, she doesn’t agree with teachers to strike.
“I don’t support teachers to seat down. What teachers have done to strike is contrary to the constitution because people have a right to education. Seating down is not a solution.Government have on several times been meeting teachers Unions over salary increment. It’s not fair for teachers to put down tools when government is still looking for a solution” Hon Anifa noted.
“I urge all teachers across the country to go back in classes and not deny children their right to education because to put down tools is not a human basic way of handling issues” She said.
Bulisa district woman MP Beatrice Mpairwe also requested teachers to reverse their decision and go back in classes.
“Teachers strike will not solve the problem but instead will make children suffer. Although it’s their right to demand for their salary, it will affect the innocent kids. As MPs we will put government to pressure and increase teachers since majority of MPs are teachers by profession” She confirmed.
Today teachers across the country have started their strike as they had promised earlier until government fulfills its commitment of 20% salary increment in this financial year 2013/14.