A group of students in Gulu district have resorted to teaching their own classmates because their teachers never turn up for work.
The pupils of Ogul Primary School in Paicho sub-county say they have been forced to take on teaching and administrative duties because the school has few or no staff.
Moses Okello, a primary six pupil, is the head boy of the school. He says that in addition to teaching mathematics in the P1 to P3 classes, he has several administrative duties to ensure that the school is in proper running order.
Okello's classmate, Dominic Apire, says he teaches English language and Luo to P1 and P3 pupils using the new thematic curriculum. He admits that teaching and concentrating on his own studies in hard work, but he must do so to help his brothers and sisters in lower classes.
Ogul Primary School has 127 pupils. It was established in 1984 and was closed for several years during the rebel insurgency in northern Uganda. The school was opened recently, but only three classrooms are available and they are shared by all the pupils in the school.
Walter Opwonya says several of his children are enrolled in Ogul Primary School. He says the school only has eight teachers who report for their duties at midday or not at all.
This week the Gulu Deputy Resident District Commissioner Milton Odong visited the school to assess the situation there. He met one of the teachers, Betty Achan, who confessed to coming to work late. Achan argued that she does not have accommodation at the school and has to walk many miles to get there everyday.
Milton Odong said he was horrified by the state of affairs at Ogul Primary School. He said he would write to the District Service Commission to summon the head teacher of the school to answer to charges of professional negligence.
The headmaster of the school and his deputy were unavailable for comment. The headmaster signed his attendance roll two days in advance, absconded from duty and has not been at the school since last week.