Commemoration of World Teachers Day 2021 in Uganda
Uganda celebrated World Teachers’ Day 2021 on October 12, following the request of President of the Republic of Uganda, H.E Yoweri Museveni, who wanted to be part of the celebrations, but was out of the country for official duties on the 5 October, which is the official global commemoration of the day. The theme for this year’s celebration is “Teachers at the heart of education recovery”
While speaking on the occasion to mark this year’s celebration at Kololo Independence Grounds in Kampala, the Minister of Education and Sports and First Lady, Janet Kataha Museveni assured teachers throughout the country of the safe reopening of schools. “We are very grateful for the firm measure that the government took to ensure that the children and teachers remain safe and we do thank God that we are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel now as we prepare for the opening”. She commended the teachers for their perseverance during this pandemic noting that this should make them even stronger as there is light at the end of the tunnel.
President Museveni while addressing stakeholders at the celebration noted that losing time should not be compared to death due to COVID-19.
The General Secretary of Uganda National Teachers’ Union (UNATU), Mr. Filbert Baguma, called upon the education ministry to automate the pension and gratuity payment process to enable retired teachers to access their cash. While commenting on the ongoing debate on salary increment for all teachers, the UNATU general Secretary stated that they were not against the move but they want the government to be realistic and present a clear plan that will cater for the teachers instead of using verbal words to promise the teachers.
As part of the celebration to mark this year’ event, UNESCO organized series of live television dialogues to discuss topical issues affecting teachers in view of searching for lasting solutions and the need to support them for the recovery of the education system.
As part of the drive, “Appreciate a Teacher,” to recognize teachers for their enormous contribution to the country’s development, Ministry of Education and Sports, UNATU, UNESCO together with UNICEF and other partners, organized a week’s initiative called “Teacher Appreciation Week”, with a main objective of to give opportunities to parents/guardians, students, and public to reach out to teachers and appreciating them.
The initiative mobilized people to send “Thank you Teacher” messages, gifts, offers, discounts, and other tokens of appreciation to teachers to make teacher feels valued, loved, and appreciated. This resulted into a state of happiness, joy and good health for teachers which is a very good motivation an attempt to avert the increasing level of demotivation caused by COVID-19.