President Yoweri Museveni has given further clarifications allowing teachers and learners to use public transport if the transporters can observe the recommended Standard Operating Procedures.
As part of the guidelines for reopening, the Ministry of Education had barred teachers and learners from using general public transport including taxis, vans, and bodabodas when schools reopen for finalists who are scheduled to report to their respective schools on October 15.
The ministry then advised parents to identify schools nearest to their homes to enroll their children to avoid health risks, unnecessary costs, and inconveniences of long-distance travel to schools. Parents had been left with one option of using vehicles or vans designated by schools, but the vans were also limited to a five-kilometer radius.
However, President Museveni has expressed contrary views on the matter. Museveni says that if the set procedures in communities, public transport, and schools are observed, there is no reason as to why learners and teachers cannot use them.
The president made the remarks during the world teachers day celebration held at State House in response to concerns raised by Filbert Baguma, the general secretary Uganda National Teacher Association, who wondered how the government expected teachers who don’t have staff quarters to operate without public transport.
The president advised parents and the community to ensure that public transporter observes the SOPs to the dot for the good of their learners and the entire community.
However, President Museveni also challenged teachers that they can as well look at other possible alternatives either by pitching camp at the schools given the fact that some of the classrooms will not be in use or find nearby places where they can board.
Meanwhile, Museveni also suggested the creation of a unified salaries’ board to ensure equity in the allocation of salaries by teachers to resolve the salary enhancement woes that come up every year. He also argues that this will also benefit other government employees.