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Teachers quit teaching

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Without jobs and regular salary for months, teachers are being pushed to the brink of financial ruin.

Alone and unsupported, many teachers have suffered the harshest brunt of the months-long Covid-19-induced lockdown and are beginning to look beyond the classroom. A random survey of destitute teachers yielded plenty of reasons why they have turned to lowly jobs like brick-making, charcoal burning, hawking, riding boda bodas, taxi driving, selling meat, fruit and vegetables, and working on construction sites.

Many have lost hope of returning to the classroom. In separate interviews, many teachers spoke of dashed hopes, lost jobs and their daily struggles to live. Nationwide, many desperate teachers pushed out of taxpaying jobs by the Covid-19-induced lockdown are beginning to flood markets, washing bays and garages foraging for any available jobs.

Pauline Nakisekka, an English and Mathematics teacher at St Joseph’s Girls primary school, Nsambya, hasn’t earned a salary since February.
Threatened by starvation, Nakisekka, a mother of three, changed from the smart classroom dresses into the dirty overalls of charcoal burners.
She has since switched to brick-making after starving for a long time with her three children. She spent all her small salary.

“When I realized there was no sign of lifting the lockdown for teachers, and we had eaten all the food I had stocked, I cried. I thought of setting up a shop but didn’t have capital. Then thought of poultry farming but all the chicken and eggs were floating on the market during lockdown; I got confused,” she says in an interview with The Observer.

Nakisekka says before Covid-19 broke out, she was a small farmer. But her farm, she said, was hard to reach when public transport was locked down too. Her husband was also locked abroad where he works as a casual labourer (kyeyo). Ultimately, she decided to turn to brick-making since she could do the work near home with little capital to start.

“I had little experience in brick-making. But I used to assist my husband make bricks to build our house. However, during the lockdown, brick-making was the easiest job to divert to since I could work near home while observing the ministry of Health Covid-19 guidelines and bricks are not perishable…,” she says.

As of Monday, August 24, Uganda had a total of 2,263 Covid-19 cases, 1,226 recoveries and 20 deaths. According to Nakisekka, she and her children wake up at 6am and go at Namavundu, Gayaza, where she rents land at about Shs 200,000 to make bricks.

“We cleared the bush with my children and hired brick-makers to excavate the normal soil to make bricks. However, they disappointed me. They didn’t return to work after I paid deposits,” she says.

“I decided to dig and crush soil by myself. I also used a wooden brick-shaper to make bricks. My children assisted me. But after a few days, we all got back pain since our bodies were not used. We almost stopped working,” she says.

She didn’t give up, she said, but advised her children to fetch water for her to make bricks. So far, she has burnt a heap of 10,000 bricks, and sold all. She reinvested the proceeds and kept Shs 600,000 in profit for her children’s school fees when schools reopen. Nakisekka says she will continue making bricks to shore up her teaching salary.

“Most teachers have suffered during the lockdown, but I advise them to change their poor mindset about casual jobs and focus on what they can earn from such jobs. As teachers, we are used to being smartly dressed and sit in classroom, and wait for the monthly salary. But as the world changes today, it’s wise to have a side income job,” she says.

Nakisekka adds, “Many teachers suffered when schools closed due to lack of side income jobs. Don’t think brick-makers are desperate; they are serious businessmen, with families and have big investments. I have interacted with them, and learnt a lot.”

She urged government to first give counseling sessions to teachers before they return to classes when schools open because most of them have been psychologically and physically traumatized by poverty.

“Even the Shs 2bn Sacco money given to teachers will not help us much, since we get it in a group of 30 teachers and each group gets Shs 30m. This means each teacher will get only Shs 1m with an interest rate,” she says.   

Butcher

Issah Nsubuga, a Mathematics and SST teacher at St. Kizito Bishop Mukwaya primary school, Gayaza, says when schools closed, he crossed to selling meat at Gayaza market.

“Since my relatives were selling meat here, and sometimes I could help them over the weekend, I asked for recruitment at their butcher shop,” he says.

Teacher Issa Nsubuga of Bishop Mukwaya primary school now sells meat

Nsubuga says he managed to beat off stiff competition in the market and got a string of customers. He says he can now put food on the table for his family. Nsubuga wants government to open schools. He says many pupils have dropped out of school altogether during lockdown and others will be promoted by schools desperate to earn money.

Bogere Sylvia Nalongo, a History and CRE teacher at St Mathias Secondary School Iganga, is now selling clothes at Gayaza family store.

“Before the lockdown, I had started a small shop to support my little salary. And after working for three months, they closed all shops and schools. I got stuck since I had invested all my money in the shop. I started selling fish in my village from door to door during the whole lockdown,” she says.

She says when the lockdown was partially lifted; she resumed selling second-hand clothes. She says she does a lot of marketing of her products on social media platforms.

Car wash

Deogratious Hibisye, an English and Science teacher at Kasozi Standard primary school, Kasangati, says since the lockdown, he joined the car wash business at Skylon washing bay, Gayaza.

“The headmaster thought the lockdown would take only two weeks as the president used to say. So, he didn’t pay our salary. But after realizing the lockdown was being extended endlessly, I was forced to join the car wash business, which didn’t need capital to start. I use my energy,” he says.

Hibisye says since he had friends at the car wash bay, they encouraged him to join them. “I am paid per day, depending on the number of cars I wash. We charge from Shs 10,000 to Shs 15,000 depending on how dirty the car is,” he says, adding that at least, they wash more than 15 cars daily. He advises all teachers not to disrespect jobs, if they want to succeed.

Matoke and fruit dealer

Aidat Namubiru, a Primary Seven teacher at Red Hamisha primary school Masanafu, says she started selling matooke and fruits during the lockdown.

“I got the idea of investing in Matoke and fruits because the two needed little capital to start and many people were buying food and fruits to boost their immunity to fight off Covid-19,” she says.

Namubiru says her business picked up quickly because she was doing home deliveries since many people were locked home and couldn’t move long distances to big markets.

“However it’s now failing, we have very few clients and others have returned to their villages where they don’t buy food…,” she says.

Painter

Sam Balikuddembe, a teacher at Brilliant School, Wakiso, says to avoid depression during the lockdown, he started to work at construction sites as a painter in June.

“Painting was the only option for me to get food for my children since my fellow teachers were also builders at different construction sites. I didn’t know painting that much but I learnt on the job,” he says.

zuraneetah2015@gmail.com





Source – observer.ug

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Charles Mbire gains $1.2 million as stake in MTN Uganda rises above $51 million

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Ugandan businessman and MTN Uganda Chairman Charles Mbire has seen the market value of his stake in MTN Uganda surge above $51 million in just two days, as the share price in the leading teleco company increased by a single digit.

The single-digit bump in the share price caused the market value of Mbire’s stake to gain UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million) in less than two days.

The million-dollar increase in the value of his stake came after Uganda’s largest telecom company delivered the country’s largest-ever IPO through the listing of 22.4 billion ordinary shares on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE).

Upon completing the largest IPO in Uganda’s history, MTN Uganda raised a record UGX535 billion ($150.4 million) from the applications that it received for a total of 2.9 billion shares, including incentive shares.

As of press time, Dec. 7, shares in the company were trading at UGX204.95 ($0.0574), down six basis points from their opening price this morning.

Data gathered by Billionaires.Africa revealed that since the telecom company registered its shares on the Ugandan bourse on Mon., Dec. 6, its share price has increased by 2.5 percent from UGX200 ($0.056) to UGX204.95 ($0.0574) as of the time of writing, as retail investors sustained buying interest long after the public offering.

The increase in the company’s share price caused the market value of Mbire’s 3.98-percent stake to rise from UGX178.45 billion ($49.96 million) to UGX182.86 billion ($51.2 million).

In less than two days, his stake gained more than UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million).

In a statement after the successful listing of MTN Uganda’s shares, Mbire said the IPO shows the confidence that Ugandans and other investors have in the company, its brand and strategic intent.

“We commend all the regulators for their support in our work to become a USE-listed company and to comply in a timely manner with the listing provisions of the national telecommunications operators’ license,” he said.

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350 million (debt free).

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350. ( debt free).

He is into communications-revenue assurance-cement-distribution-oil services-real estate-oil exploration and logistics.

Source: Billionaires Africa

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2-year-old dies at Arua hospital as nurse demands Shs 210,000 bribe

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A two-year-old child died at Arua Regional Referral hospital after a nurse, Paul Wamala demanded a bribe amounting to Shs 210,000 before carrying out an operation. 

The incident happened on Saturday, after Aron Nabil, a two-year-old child was referred to the hospital for an operation after he was diagnosed with intestinal obstruction, a medical emergency caused by a blockage that keeps food or liquid from passing through the small intestine or large intestine.

According to the relatives of the child, Wamala allegedly asked them to initially give him Shs 30,000 to buy medicines to commence the procedure. He however returned shortly asking for an additional Shs 180,000 from the relatives.

Emily Adiru, a resident of Osu cell, in Bazar Ward, Central Division, and a relative of the child says although they paid money to Wamala, he abandoned the child without carrying out the operation. According to Adiru, Wamala later refunded Shs 200,000 through mobile money, after she threatened to report him to the police.

“They told us this boy needs an operation which was supposed to be done in the morning on Sunday at around 7 am. They took him inside there, some doctor came from the theatre, he called one of us and said, we should pay Shs 70,000 for buying medicine to start the operation. We paid the Shs 30,000 [but] after paying the Shs 30,000, after some minutes, the same man came and opened the door and called us again, and told us we should pay another Shs 100,000. We also paid the Shs 100,000 and we thought it is finished. We were outside there waiting for our patient to come out [but] then this man came back again and said we should pay another Shs 80,000,” said Adiru.

Although the operation was later carried out after a 7-hour delay, the child didn’t make it, and relatives attribute the death to negligence. Miria Ahmed, a concerned resident wonders why such incidents have persisted at the facility which is supposed to service the citizens.

“Is the problem the hospital, is it the management or it is the human resource that is the problem in the hospital? A small child like this you demand Shs 210,000 for the operation? Well, if the money was taken and the operation is done, I would say anything bad but this money was taken and the small boy was abandoned in the theatre,” she said. 

When contacted Wamala refused to comment on the allegations. Dr Gilbert Aniku, the acting hospital director says that the hospital will issue an official statement later since consultations about the matter are ongoing.

Arua City resident district commissioner, Alice Akello has condemned the actions of the nurse saying she has ordered his arrest so as to set an example to the rest. The case has been reported to Arua regional referral hospital police post under SD reference No:05/30/05/2022.



Source – observer.ug

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Mexican president’s Mayan Train dealt new legal setback | Tourism News

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Activists say the planned tourist train will harm the wildlife and natural features of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has been dealt the latest setback to an ambitious plan to create a tourist train to connect the country’s southern Yucatan Peninsula.

On Monday, a judge indefinitely suspended construction on a portion of the project, known as the Mayan Train, saying the plans currently do not comply “with the proceedings of the environmental impact evaluation”.

The ruling follows a legal challenge by activists who said they were concerned the 60km (37 mile) portion of the train that would connect the resorts of Playa del Carmen and Tulum would adversely affect the area’s wildlife, as well as its caves and water-filled sinkholes known as cenotes.

The original plan for the disputed section was for an overpass over a highway, but the route was modified early this year to go through jungle at ground level.

The federal judge cited the “imminent danger” of causing “irreversible damage” to ecosystems, according to one of the plaintiffs, the non-governmental group Defending the Right to a Healthy Environment. In a statement, the group said that authorities had failed to carry out the necessary environmental impact studies before starting construction of the section.

Lopez Obrador had announced the ambitious project in 2018, with construction beginning in 2020. The roughly 1,500km (930 mile) cargo and passenger rail loop was presented as a cornerstone of a wider plan to develop the poorer states and remote towns throughout the about 181,000sq km (70,000sq mile) Yucatan Peninsula.

The railway is set to connect Caribbean beach resorts with Mayan archaeological ruins, with authorities aiming to complete the project by the end of 2023. The plan is estimated to cost about $16bn.

The project has split communities across the region, with some welcoming the economic development and connectivity it would bring. Others, including some local Indigenous communities, have challenged the project, saying it could not only disrupt the migratory routes of endangered species, including jaguars, tapirs and ocelots, but could also potentially damage centuries-old Mayan archaeological sites.

The National Fund for the Promotion of Tourism, the government agency overseeing the project, has said that it expects to “overcome” the latest challenge and that work should continue after an environmental impact statement is finalised. It said the Environment Ministry was currently reviewing its environmental application for the project.

For his part, Lopez Obrador has insisted the railway will not have a significant environmental effect and has accused activists of being infiltrated by “impostors”.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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