Uganda’s President Museveni has issued a directive to the Ministry of Public Services, urging an increase in salaries for secondary school head teachers and deputy head teachers specializing in Sciences.
In a letter dated July 1 addressed to Public Service Minister Wilson Muruli Mukasa, President Museveni referred to a communication from the Minister of Education and Sports indicating that there had been no enhancement in the salaries of these educational leaders.
President Museveni’s message suggested that Science teachers appointed as head teachers and deputy head teachers were facing penalties due to their appointments.
He characterized this situation as “completely irrational” and stated that a Science teacher’s designation should persist regardless of administrative roles until the government has the financial capacity to improve salaries across the board.
The endeavor to increase Science teacher salaries started in 2017 when President Museveni outlined his intentions to do so immediately. While the promise was made during a teachers’ retreat at the State House in 2017, its implementation was realized only in 2021.
The resulting 300 percent pay rise led to higher salaries for graduate and Grade V teachers, amounting to Shs4 million and Shs3 million respectively, up from Shs1.1 million and Shs796,000.
However, this initiative led to concerns from Arts teachers as well as head and deputy head teachers who were left unaffected by the increase.
This disparity generated frustrations, particularly among school heads, who expressed difficulty in overseeing staff members who were earning double their salaries.
Aron Mugaiga, the general secretary of the Uganda Professional Science Teachers Union (UPSTU), lauded President Museveni’s decision to enhance the salaries of Science-oriented school heads.
Mugaiga highlighted the ongoing efforts against salary inequality and praised the government’s responsiveness to these concerns.
The salary increase for Science teachers also had positive effects on other educational leaders. Diploma and certificate institution heads witnessed their salaries rise from Shs2.3 million to 6.5 million, while deputy head teachers experienced an increase from Shs1.7 million to 4.5 million.
Augustine Mugabo, Chairperson of the Head Teachers’ Association in Uganda, expressed optimism about the implementation of these changes.
Mugabo mentioned President Museveni’s commitment to addressing one issue at a time and anticipated that Arts teachers would be addressed next.
Public Service Minister Wilson Muruli Muruli assured that the President’s directive was under consideration, and the technical team was working on the necessary budget adjustments.
He affirmed that funds were being sought to execute the plan, further adding that the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Public Service, Catherine Bitarakwate, was better suited to provide details on the budget allocation.
As the process unfolds, education professionals remain hopeful that the new approach to salaries will help address disparities and ensure that educators are fairly compensated for their roles.