The First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports, Mrs. Janet Museveni, has chaired an Inter- Ministerial meeting together with the leaders of the Private Teachers Unions and Associations to brainstorm on how the teachers in private schools can access the Shs 20 billion relief fund pledged by President Museveni to ease their financial stress resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown.
The meeting that was held at State House Entebbe on Friday, was attended by the State Minister for Primary Education, Hon. Rosemary Seninde, Minister of State for Miocro Finance and Small Enterprises, Hon. Haruna Kasolo Kyeyune, Patrick Ocailap, the Deputy Secretary to the Treasury, the Education Ministry Permanent Secretary, Alex Kakooza and other senior officers from the Education and Finance, Planning and Economic Development Ministries and the Micro Finance Support Centre.
Mrs. Museveni was concerned that for some time now the teachers in private schools and institutions have been trying to access the money in vain.
“As the Ministry of Education, we have decided, as a go between, to bring together the Ministry of Finance and the leadership of the Private Schools’ teachers to brainstorm on how this money can be accessed by the teachers and for all stakeholders to be clear on the whereabouts of this money as of now”, she added.
She said it is very exciting that after the long waiting, schools and other tertiary institutions will soon re-open, even though with a small percentage of the learners. She, however, pointed out that as we look forward to opening the education institutions, it is also essential that the private schools’ teachers across the country get the money that was pledged by President Museveni to mitigate the suffering occasioned by the closure of schools due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
She, therefore, tasked the Minister of State for Microfinance to, with immediate effect, chair a follow-up meeting with the Ministry of Education officials and the leaders of the private teachers to agree on the best practical way that will ensure that the teachers get their money as soon as possible.
According to the Microfinance Support Centre officials, the Shs 20 billion for the private teachers’ fund has been incorporated as part of the Presidential initiative on Wealth and Job creation (EMYOOGA) as the nineteenth category. As at September 2020, a total of 526 teachers’ Groups/Associations have been registered at district level under the EMYOOGA programme. Assessment of the capacity is ongoing and capacity building / training has been provided in areas of governance, financial literacy and management, enterprise selection and development so as to enhance proper management of the funds and sustainability by the teachers.
The Education Ministry Permanent Secretary, Alex Kakooza, said that what the Ministry of Education seeks to see is a fair system of disbursement of the teachers’ funds, which must be agreed upon and is understood by all players.
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