Teachers Resort to Boda boda Riding for Survival

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In short
Our reporter visited 13 boda boda stages and found teachers struggling to make ends meet.

Several teachers in Soroti district have resorted to riding boda bodas for survival following the delay by government to pay their June salaries. Some of the affected teachers are from Islamic, Aloet, Aminit, Madera, Fr. Hilders, Amen, Nakatunya and Soroti Demonstration primary schools amongst others. Our reporter visited 13 boda boda stages and found teachers struggling to make ends meet.

A head teacher, who declined to be named for fear of being reprimanded by local education authorities told URN that, he resorted to riding a boda boda to fend for his family after missing his salary. He claims his two children in secondary school were sent back home for defaulting on fees payment because of the government delay to clear his salary. According to the head teacher, his family is currently surviving on a single meal a day from the small money he earns from the boda boda business. 

Another teacher says his wife asked him to stop teaching and concentrate on riding a boda boda and provide for his family until he is paid. The teacher explains that he rides the boda boda from 10:00 am to 11:00 am, 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm and also from 4:00 pm to 11:00 pm. The decision by the teachers to resort to boda boda riding has impacted negatively on the pupils. A 12-year-old pupil in one of the primary schools in Soroti Municipality told URN that they only attend three lessons instead of six, which they used to attend previously.

She says while the male teachers are involved in boda boda riding their female counterparts stay away claiming to be ill. Everest Okello, Soroti District Education Officer has faulted the teachers for abandoning their duties because of salary delays. Okello asks the teachers to consider the salary delay as a set back because government is committed to paying their salary. 

The DEO sayshis office is going to deal with teachers who have resorted to boda boda riding instead of concentrating on teaching.

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Several government employees including teachers and police have been affected by the salary delays. Recently, police embarked on the countrywide distribution of food rations to help affected officers to cope up with the salary delay.


About the author

Salume Among
Salume Among is the Mbale URN bureau chief. Among has been a URN staff member since 2012.

Among started her career in 2000 as a freelance writer for Etop newspaper before starting to write for its mother paper, The New Vision. She also wrote for the Vision Group's XFM radio station from 2008 until she left to join URN.

Among has a keen interest in local politics having been a youth representative in the Soroti variously between 1996 and 2010. Among also regularly reports on health, education, the environment and sports.