Over 800 secondary school teachers who were undergoing a training on the proposed new curriculum from eight districts of Uganda’s Busoga Sub-region have demonstrated, saying the curriculum is ‘highly lacking’.
The five-day training, which started on Sunday at Iganga Secondary School, attracted teachers from the districts of Bugiri, Namayingo, Mayuge, Luuka, Namutumba and Iganga.
However, on Wednesday morning, the teachers refused to enter the training hall, arguing that from the start of the training, they had failed to grasp the changes in the curriculum and accused the instructors of not being knowledgeable enough on the revised curriculum.
“The trainers seem not to have understood well what they are meant to teach us to go and implement because you cannot tell me that when you go to a class, every learner’s contribution is correct,” one of the teachers said.
They said the curriculum was being rushed before they accused trainers of perusing through the content without giving them enough time to understand.
“The trainers are rushing yet the content is too much. When you ask them some questions, they get pissed off,” Mr Gerald Mwanda, another teacher said.
The trainers, however, declined to speak to the press on the matter.
The teachers further stressed that as implementers, they were not consulted and faulted government for only allocating Shs30, 000 as facilitation and transport refund for the five days.
“As implementers, we were not consulted and have noticed a lot of anomalies. We ask government to take back the curriculum and first consult stakeholders,” said Mr Yakuti Tazaana.
“They said they will give each of us Shs30, 000 to cater for transport refund, upkeep and allowance; this is a mockery and is disrespectful to us,” one of the teachers shouted.
Police officers from Iganga rushed to the venue to avert any possible violence after the protestors started shouting and reciting songs, calling for the revision of the new curriculum.
Efforts by the Iganga Resident District Commissioner, Ms Eva Kwesiga to have the teachers resume with the training were futile.
“This is a government programme that you should embrace by whatever means because the new curriculum is going to eliminate irrelevancies and address issues of unemployment,” Ms Kwesiga said.
The Iganga District Police Commander, Mr David Ndaula said whereas the teachers were free to express their grievances, they were not going to tolerate acts of violence.
“The venue is in a school and students are studying. We shall not allow them to disrupt the activities of the school,” Mr Ndaula told reporters.
By press time one teacher had been arrested for what police called ‘inciting violence’.