The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the ICT Teachers association of Uganda has agreed to kickstart a Savings and Credit Cooperative Organisation (SACCO) for ICT Teachers in Uganda. This decision was reached after extensive deliberations and a vote during the recent NEC meeting held at Sharebility Uganda offices (in Makerere Innovation and Incubation Center, Makerere University) on 7th January 2019.
Why the SACCO?
SACCOs are legal bodies registered under the Uganda Cooperative Statute of 1991 and Cooperative Societies Regulations of 1992.
In 2005, the government of Uganda introduced the Prosperity for All Programme, otherwise known as Bonabagaggawale. One of its objectives was to deepen financial inclusion through the promotion of Savings and Credit Cooperative Organisations (SACCOs).
Central bank estimates show that in 2011, Uganda had more than 2,094 Saccos. The number has grown to 5,000 in 2016, according to the ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives.
According to the current law, we need a minimum of 30 members to register the SACCO, and a board / supervisory committee should be elected to carry out the day-to-day activities of the SACCO and perform the function of an internal audit.
In his communication to the NEC, Mr. Charles Kakaire the interim Chairperson ITAU, noted that we need to establish a SACCO in order to have sustainability. A SACCO creates a sense of belonging amongst the members since they will own shares, savings and loans which will increase members interest in the association.
Other proposed ITAU projects, activities and events
The proposal to form a SACCO comes at a time when the NEC is brainstorming on how to raise funds for organising various activities and projects for planned for 2019.
The National Secretary for projects, activities and events, Mr. Eneku Ronald fronted a number of proposals:
- He proposed that we plan for different seminars for students and workshops for students in all regions of the country.
- He suggested an amendment on the events that are posted on the website, and advised that the Menus/Tabs to be re-designed with emphasis on the events tab.
- Advised that a dedicated person be appointed to control the YouTube channel to upload all resourceful materials in visual or screen recorded tutorials and urged all members to co-author that content.
- He suggested acquiring high quality cameras that would be used in capturing videos.
- He suggested that chairs and tents be acquired, such that in case of a national event, they would be put to use or even put on market to be hired by others people.
- He suggested that we embrace the think interschool ICT debates project which is already under development.
- He proposed that we work towards establishing links with NCDC , NITA, ICTAU and MOES, and reported that he had already met the IT department of the American embassy and they had expressed interest in partnering with us.
- He suggested that the national workshops be rotated around different regions of the country for proper coverage and balanced impact.
- He proposed that the website be redesigned in a more friendly format to benefit the amateurs, more useful content be uploaded.
- He concluded by highlighting the need to have written letters to different heads of school introducing them to the association and what we do.
Mr. Lukyamuzi Ronald, the Vice Chairperson made the following points:
- Suggested that all members of the NEC doubling as leaders in regional committees withdraw from one responsibility for smoother running of the association. It was agreed that elections be held online to fill the vacant posts on the central region committee.This was seconded by Mr. Sensalire Rajab, the secretary for projects and events in central region, who also called upon on members to demonstrate more teamwork. Nominations for new members to join in are currently ongoing.
- Mr. Lukyamuzi clarified on the meaning of the following terms , association, company , limited company , public company and company limited by guarantee.
- He clarified that an association is legally registered to operate in a designated region but not national wide, so that meant that only the ITAU constitution was registered but not the association. With the current registration status, we cannot have a certificate of incorporation, we cannot own anything-not even a pencil as an association.
- The vice chairperson suggested that moving forward, we should register a company limited by guarantee in order to be able to transact more business and own assets which may not be the case with the association in its current status of registration.
Mr. Mukalele Rogers, the National Coordinator raised following points:
- Briefed members about what transpired at the wordcamp and called upon the ICT teachers to learn how to use WordPress software in order for them to find it easy to add content to the website. He also gave the accountability of how some of the money was spent making the ITAU stamp and receipt book and the balance was handed over to the treasurer.
- Mr. Mukalele suggested that for now we should maintain the association in its current state of registration but simply create a SACCO, which is provided for as objective number 12 in the constitution. He noted that SACCOs can legally do business, carry on projects, own assets, are easier to establish, and will be quickly understood and supported by members as compared to registering it as company.
- He also emphasised on how the SACCO would benefit the association financially and in membership increment, and also informed members that with a SACCO, we can obtain funds from government through UCC as per his previous meeting with the director RCDF. These funds could help ICT Teachers obtain laptops and repay back in affordable installements.
- The national coordinator talked about how putting some ads on the website would raise some income for the association, giving an example of how ads are rasing some money on the old sharebility website.
- He also demonstrated the new Moodle-based sharebility elearning project and requested the members that ITAU should work hand in hand with Sharebility Uganda on elearning programs.
- He also raised a concern about the practice of WhatsApp group admins removing members from the groups, and called on members to exercise more tolerance for the sake of harmony among members.
Mr. Munyagwa Nicholas, the National general secretary made the following submissions:
- Highlighted on 2018 success which included registration of the association, appointment of leaders of the NEC, appointment of regional leaders, successful workshops, seminars and meetings.
- Reechoed the need to have a source of funds to run the association smoothly.
- Suggested that ITAU starts up a board for setting MOCK examinations.
- Suggested acquisition of a vehicle for the association.
- Suggested the need to have headquarters or operational premises for the association and SACCO.
- Called members to limit internal conflicts on small issues and appreciate everybody as he/ she is, and called upon members to reconcile and be on the same page to maintain the associations solidarity.
Mr. Kaahwa James, the publicity secretary for Western Region;
- Conveyed greetings from Mr. Tweheyo Edward, the chairperson ITAU Western Region.
- Explained how he had used the platform of EDUCATE Uganda to publicize ITAU projects.
- Supported the idea of using electronic conferencing for convening ITAU meetings to save time and transport costs.
Mr. Wogisha Denis, the chairperson ITAU eastern region joined the meeting remotely by submitting the views of the eastern region commitee electronically through email and Whatsapp. The following proposals were suggested:
- There is need to continue organizing ICT workshops but we should evenly set various regions to host them to boost attendance mostly by colleagues who have missed as a result of high transport costs.
- There is need to launch, monitor ICT clubs in various schools in different region.
- The association should organize ICT Competitions across different regions by using club activities like Website development, application and system development, touch typing etc.
- There is also need to widen the association income by opening up Subscription to all members who are willing. Though all teachers should be first allowed to participate in the association activities.
- There is also need to develop calendars, T-shirts, Magazines which can be sold to widen the association income.
- Organize seminars across regions. This will also empower regional members to organize students to pay some money which is the other source of income to the association.
- Enroll for short adverts on radios, big media houses to widen sensitization map during time for workshops, seminars, or during the association annual General meeting.
- Contribute some money to members organizing parties or condolence to colleagues who may have lost their loved ones.
- Recognize most outstanding colleagues who have written ICT literature, developed community websites or media platform to motivate them invest more time in such activities.
- Integrate our association activities with schools termly work plans.
- We should also organize exhibitions across regions. This should invite students and other members of the community to develop systems or materials that are useful in the community. This should attract media houses and successful students should be motivated.
- Encourage colleagues develop video tutorials for use by students. These should end with a message about our associations as the great financial supporter.
The debate concering creating a company or creating a SACCO was put to a vote and majority of the members agreed to first focus efforts on forming the SACCO. A team of members was then selected to follow up on this and start moblising the necesary documents and requirements for the SACCO and report back to NEC.
On the issue of condolenses to members in times of loss, members suggested that this would best be handled when the SACCO is established and conditions would be well stipulated and automatic.
Members allocted the following dates for key events in 2019:
- 5th – 7th May 2019 – Teachers Capacity Development workshop to be hosted at Busoga College, Mwiri.
- 22nd June 2019 – Western region students seminar.
- 29th June 2019 – Eastern region students seminar.
- 06th July 2019 – Northern region students seminar.
- 13th July 2019 – Central region students seminar.
- 25th July 2019 – Girls 5 days of ICT conference.
- 9th September 2019 – ITAU and ICT Trs SACCO Annual General Meeting.
- 9th October 2019 – Sharebility Uganda E-Learning conference.
- 29th November 2019 – WordCamp Kampala 2019.
More information about specific projects and events will be published in due course.