President Yoweri Museveni has cautioned teachers and key players in the education sector to stop using threats to pressure him into reopening education sector.
“We don’t need to be threatened… why do you threaten me?” said the President on Tuesday while speaking at the belated national teachers’ day celebrations at Kololo.
President Museveni, who has maintained partial and later total closure of learning institutions since March last year, says safeguarding the lives of learners supersedes any other concerns raised by stakeholders.
Museveni was responding to issues raised by the Filbert Baguma, the head of the National Teachers Union, regarding the economic troubles faced by teachers who were put of work, as well are the spike in cases for teenage pregnancies among the female learners stuck at home.
“This (lockdown) time was for survival and I am proud that we shielded our people from dying,” Museveni said. “In Brazil they have reached 600,000 deaths who died from corona. Here we have only seen 3000 deaths in one year and seven months. You think that is not important?” he said.
Regarding learners lose too much time, Museveni said no amount of lost time is greater than lost lives.
He cited the example of people including himself, who fought in the bush war to stabilize the country first.
“The problem is that some of you have not seen problems. I had to interrupt my life for 8 years in Tanzania fighting Idi Amin…Then 5 years in the bush; that’s a total of 5 years; we came back. Is anybody better off than myself, the one who lost 13 years? The thing was to survive; even if I lose time if there is such a big danger it’s better than dying.”
He added, “When we went to fight, some of the children left school and joined us in the bush. When we came back after many years of fighting, we started a Kadogo school in Mbarara and called them to resume their abandoned studies. Many of them are doctors and what not.”
Regarding teenage pregnancies, Museveni said; “pregnancy means there are two people rather than one.”
“You cannot compare death with losing time, jobs, money, that is reversible, I can lose today tomorrow I will regain it. But death is irreversible.”
President Yoweri Museveni has advised for the learning institutions to remain closed until January next year, when all teachers and older learners have been vaccinated.
Speaking at the Kololo event today, First Lady and Education Minister Janet Museveni revealed that so far about 60% of the teachers have been fully vaccinated.