In Uganda, as everywhere else, the pandemic has disrupted the normal functioning of all sectors of activity, especially the education sector. Students are expected to return to school in February after nearly a year of confinement. But the Uganda private teachers who paid the heavy tribe are not ready. In short, the sector is in trouble, which may affect the resumption of classes.
While the Covid-19 pandemic has severely disrupted the academic pace of students, it has also deprived some teachers of their salaries, particularly Uganda Private teachers.
Private education weakened by Covid-19
The sudden occurrence of the Covid-19 pandemic and the concern to combat it effectively have forced all leaders to take exceptional measures. Hence the closure of schools and other gathering places. Indeed, following the Ugandan government’s decision to close schools in March 2020, many Uganda Private teachers were left without income overnight. Without students, there is no settlement of school fees while teachers depend on them for their salaries.
And for Patrick Kaboyo, president of the Federation of Non-Governmental Institutions, the state did not react in time or anticipate the consequences. « The government has been slow to release a support fund for private sector teachers. When they finally get that money, it will no longer meet the objective of minimizing the consequences of Covid-19, it will be too late, » he said.
Uganda Private teachers seek state help
Without resources and in order to meet their most basic needs, for nine months at home, many Uganda Private teachers had to give up the profession and look for other sources of income. Convincing them to return to teach in schools that are already heavily indebted will not be an easy task, Kaboyo says.
« Before the pandemic, schools had taken out loans for computers, supplies. But because of the closures, banks have raised their rates. We have surveyed 1,600 institutions and estimate that they would need a minimum of 200 billion Ugandan shillings (about 45 million euros) to return to balance and also to ensure their reopening, » Kaboyo said.
The Federation of Non-Governmental Institutions calls on the Ugandan state to support the private education sector, which provides education for the majority of students.