Teachers of arts subjects in secondary schools will earn the same salary as science teachers by 2027, the Ministry of Public service has said.
Recently, the government announced that science teachers with degrees will start earning Shs4 million and diploma holders Shs3 million starting in July 2023 while their counterparts the art teachers remained at shs900,000.
The move caused public uproar with many saying that it would divide the teachers and demoralize the arts teachers.
While appearing before the Human Rights Committee chaired by Fox Odoi, the Ministry of Public Service led by Minister Muruuli Mukasa and Permanent Secretary Catherine Bitarakwate said that it is in their mid-term plan to enhance the salaries of arts teachers to make it at par with that of the science teachers.
According to Bitarakwate, the key issue of contention is the fact that they started the process of the enhancement of salaries of science teachers compared to having them all improved at the same time.
She said that they do have plans in the medium term of about five years to ensure that art teachers earn the same as science teachers.
“At the end of the implementation of that plan, there will be no disparity; the disparity is brought about by current priorities and the strategic interventions, Bitarakwate said.
She says that although this is a discomfort to the art teachers, it is purely momentary and not a permanent situation.
Muruli Mukasa said that whereas the total amount of money needed to enhance salaries is shs800 billion, they currently have only Shs200 billion.
Terego District Woman MP, Hon. Rose Obiga said that there is a lot of corruption in the country because of salary disparities.
“People are demoralized; they are seeing their plates with a lot of bones while others have a lot of meat. This is a human rights violation; we need to do this salary enhancement for everyone instead of saying this class this year and the other class next year,” Obiga said.
Meanwhile, members of the committee also tasked the ministry with the establishment of the Salary Review Commission.
Nakaseke Central MP, Hon. Allan Ssebunya tasked the ministry on when the commission will be set up adding that by saying ’soon’ the ministry was not communicating.
Muruli Mukasa said that by the end of the calendar year, the Salary Review Commission will have been set up.
Bitarakwate said the salaries commission is now at the stage of the regulatory impact assessment which is one of the last stages before the policy paper is prepared.S
She said that they expect that it will go before the Cabinet for approval by the second quarter of this year before the drafting can be done