Education Considers Paying Teachers Through Mobile Money Top story

3222 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Nancy Apiyo, a teacher at Alliance High School in Gulu wonders under what terms and conditions they will be using the mobile service to receive their salaries.

The Education and Sports Ministry is considering paying teachers through mobile money, URN has learnt. Dr. Tonny Mukasa Lusambu, the Assistant Commissioner for Primary Education disclosed this during the annual performance review for the Education Sector for the 2015/2016 financial year at Golf Course Hotel in Kampala, recently.

Lusambu told URN on phone on Wednesday, that the proposal is aimed at stemming absenteeism of teachers from their duty stations and time wastage as they go to collect salaries from banks.  Dr. Lusambu says the Ministry anticipates the idea will enable teachers get their pay from wherever they are in a timely manner. The proposal has generated mixed reactions from teachers.

Charles Dickens Owiny, the Head-teacher of Alerek Primary School in Abim district has hailed the innovation, saying "many teachers are thrilled by the proposal." "The only uncertainty is the likely charges that may apply. We hope when it comes to effect, the withdrawal charges will be reasonably realistic," he added.
 
But Mary Josephine Nabuyungo, the Head-teacher of St Joseph's Mixed Primary School Naggalama in Mukono has rejected the proposal, saying it is disrespectful. "The ministry is planning to introduce something without wide consultations with the intended beneficiaries." Nabuyungo she observed.

Nancy Apiyo, a teacher at Alliance High School in Gulu wonders under what terms and conditions they will be using the mobile service to receive their salaries. James Tweheyo, the General Secretary of Uganda National Teachers' Union-UNATU has criticized the whole idea as mere tactical concealment of the mess on the teachers' payrolls. 

According to Tweheyo, the problem in the teacher's salaries is not the mode of payment, but human resource and payroll management which should be effectively addressed. Some of the mobile money service providers in the country include MTN, Airtel, Uganda Telecom and Orange (now Africell) among others. As at December 2015, there were 21.1 million registered mobile money users compared to 18.8 million in December 2014. 

In March this year, Bank of Uganda (BoU) revealed that the amount of money executed via mobile money in the year that ended December 2015 was Sh32.5 trillion, an increase from Shs24 trillion in the preceding year.