Jan 20, 2022

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Teacher turned to farming to survive Covid

When the Ugandan government ordered the closure of educational institutions in March 2020 to contain the spread of Covid-19, many private schools fired staff because they could not afford to pay their salaries without the money from the fees / p>

Not only private school teachers bore the brunt of the two-year school closure in Uganda. Although state school teachers continued to earn salaries, they too went through some of the toughest times during the pandemic.

“Covid-19 surprised me. I was forced to venture into smallholder farming to continue Bring food to the table, “says Jasper Ogwang, biology teacher at Sir Tito Winyi Secondary School in the Hoima district in western Uganda. “Unfortunately, what I planted did not bring me a good harvest because the land is not fertile.”

Family demands

This is what the 53-year-old father of eight children says, although Some may argue that people like him were not financially tight because they didn’t pay their kids’ school fees, “what the kids asked for at home was more than what they normally ask for at school – and yet I got less now “Money,” he said.

In Uganda, a government school teacher makes an average of $ 940,000 ($ 265) a month, about 65 percent of that amount from the Parents and Teachers Association (PTA ).

However, when schools closed, parents stopped paying fees and PTA money stopped coming, making teachers dependent on the meager government salaries.

According to Ogwang earning the salary of a government teacher is not enough to cover someone with a family e, because during the pandemic this money became “almost useless”.

“We even spent a lot more buying food in the markets because public transport was more expensive during Covid-19” , Ogwang said.

In the good times, when schools were still open, he and other government teachers made extra money through the PTA, undeclared work in private schools, and “even writing and selling study materials to students.”

Illness

Ogwang says the situation worsened when he got sick and was admitted to Hoima Referral Hospital, where he was left alone.

“Even when they found out that I had been admitted, they couldn’t go to the hospital, so we only communicated by phone. When I was operated on, the doctors asked where my family members were and I told them they couldn’t be with me because they weren’t allowed to travel on public funds, “he said.

Everyone else likes it who struggled financially during the pandemic, Ogwang advises professionals to save money on unforeseen situations.

“And there are four things we should all have in life: a partner (wife or husband) , a humble house, only two children – not eight like me – and personal transportation, “he says.

Those who had these four things during the pandemic, says Ogwang, had a lot less financial and emotional ones Challenges brought with it on by Covid-19.