Celebrating the Love of Friends in a Loving World

Celebrating the Love of Friends in a Loving World
Red Roses for You, My Sweet Friends ... Total Love.

My Sweet Friends

My sweet friends,

We grow closer to each other;

When we interact together and share ideas;

The common faith that we share,

Binds our hearts in one accord.

For sweet friendships last a life time,

When built on mutual respect, humility and understanding;

Throughout each different season,

We find we are one in life.

Sweet friends are there through times of grief;

And times when hope is gone;

Always there with encouragement;

So we can carry on.

I thank the Lord for you,

My true and faithful friends;

To fondly speak with you, whether we agree or not,

On this, our beloved blog;

For sweet friends will stay, no matter what;

Giving support.

Together, our hearts and minds truly unite;

With the amazing love of sweet friends.

In the spirit of true friendship,

Best wishes, my sweet friends;

May the Lord bless you abundantly.

I remain, yours truly,

B.B. Bakampa.

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Teachers Of Uganda, Resist Government Intimidation

By Bakampa Brian Baryaguma
[Dip. Law (First Class)–LDC; Cert. PELD–NALI–K; LLB Student–Mak]
bsaint3@gmail.com; www.bbbakampa.blogspot.com

The Uganda National Teachers’ Union (UNATU) announced that they would stage a nationwide strike at the beginning of third term this year, vowing not to teach. Third term is very significant in our school calendar because it is during this time that major exams in the lower, middle and upper grades are done. It also marks a transition from one class to another and grade to grade. The teachers are demanding 100% salary increment. The government however, maintains that it cannot afford this amount, instead offering 40% increment which, the teachers have strongly rejected.

On Saturday, 03 September, 2011, the Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Amama Mbabazi read a statement in which he cautioned teachers saying that, “...any teacher who does not turn up for work within one week, without just cause, will be considered to have abandoned duty” warning that punitive measures will be taken including, suspension, dismissal, vacation of staff quarters and consequently loss of pension.

Having added that government would hire new teachers if the existing ones insisted on striking, he directed all District Education Officers, Resident District Commissioners, the Police, Chief Administrative Officers and Local Council 5 Chairpersons to enforce the government directive. Though unfortunate, this move is not surprising at all as it was expected that government would definitely resort to intimidation and coercion to resolve this impasse.

One of Uganda’s misfortunes under President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has been rampant creation and enormous pumping of state resources into political infrastructure at the expense of civil service and trade infrastructure. The President randomly creates political units and offices all of which must be facilitated in terms of money, assets and manpower to function. Yet these are neither matched by a corresponding increase in civil infrastructure like schools, hospitals, markets and manufacturing plants to accommodate non-political actors in the society nor better welfare for the civil servants.

This state of affairs creates an imbalance in resource distribution and is unsustainable. Political units like newly created districts only employ politicians (like those referred to by the Prime Minister) who are arguably paid handsomely to do nothing except shouting and cheap politicking! Other people who are interested in professional and career development are unfairly excluded from partaking of the national cake and development process. It is this inequity that is at the heart of the ongoing wave of protests here.

Gone are the days when teaching was a noble and attractive profession. In those days, teachers were smart and proud people, attracting envy from all quarters of society. The teaching fraternity was the epitome of prestige in this country. But that is no more because this otherwise wonderful profession has overtime been demeaned and vulgarised by the powers that be that have neglected and relegated it to the periphery of society!

It should be remembered that whereas the first slaves were created by force, their cowardice kept them longer in slavery and as Mr. James Magode Ikuya says, a slave who does not struggle against his slavery remains and deserves to be a slave, because in human history, rights are not given or offered by human rulers; they are won in the crucible of a furious struggle by those who are deprived.

Therefore, it is for the teachers and their well wishers to fight and defend themselves against the forces of oppression and exploitation by firmly insisting on their fair share of the national resources.