SERERE – Teachers in Pingire County, Serere district have been asked to join the Walimu Savings and Credit Cooperative Organization (SACCO), a savings scheme established by the government of Uganda with the aim of improving teachers’ lives across the country.
From 2015 to date, the government of Uganda has so far injected Shs 17.8 billion into Walimu SACCO.
According to Fred Opolot, the Member of Parliament for Pingire County, the fund that teachers get through the SACCO helps them to establish individual income-generating projects. He said, this in-turn improves on their efficiency since they won’t live in fear of being chased by financial institutions over unpaid loans.
Opolot made these remarks on Monday during the award ceremony of best performers in the 2020 Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE). Each of the seven candidates who passed in first grade was rewarded with a mattress, woolen blanket, bucket and a dozen of counter books.
Opolot urged teachers to join the Walimu SACCO so that they can get other government opportunities to boost their financial capacities.
He stressed that it is an urgent cause because teachers have been involved in multiple loan borrowing from money lenders, something that has made them not to perform in class due to the fear of being arrested.
“I will start the initiative of training teachers on the importance of financial discipline and good finances management because we have observed that many of them take multiple loans that end up affecting their performance in schools,” Opolot said.
Opolot noted that improved financial management by teachers will make them economically stable and boost their teaching morale hence contributing to better performance in schools.
He explained that multiple loan borrowing is one of the main factors keeping teachers out of schools.
He said some teachers have opted for Boda-boda work at the expense of teaching with the aim of looking for ways of repaying loans.
“The issue of teachers having multiple loans affects their performance as this makes them unsettled at their schools. They are always looking through the windows to check if loan officers are coming. This for many years has affected us, as a district,” the legislator said.
Opolot observed that teachers are not enjoying their work because their minds are disturbed with loan issues as many of them have become addicted to borrowing.
Meanwhile, Michael Okiror, the headteacher of Pingire Primary School said that teachers first need to be sensitized on the importance of joining the Walimu SACCO.
“Whenever it comes to loans, headteachers realize it when banks invade schools to know about the presence of teachers who borrowed from them. They have local SACCOs but those who do not want to save, are the ones who borrow loans from money lenders without first seeking for advice,” Okiror said.
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