Sembabule Probes 200 Teachers over Forged Papers

2071 Views Sembabule, Uganda

In short
Sulaiti Sebbowa, the District Service Commission Chairperson said the dismissed teachers, failed to defend their papers before a probe committee while a number of others confessed to using dubious means to access the district payroll.

Sembabule District Service Commission has terminated contracts of 64 teachers for allegedly forging academic documents and appointment letters. 17 of these are primary schools teachers who were found with fake academic papers while 47 were Secondary teachers with forged appointment letters.

Sulaiti Sebbowa, the District Service Commission Chairperson said the dismissed teachers, failed to defend their papers before a probe committee while a number of others confessed to using dubious means to access the district payroll.

The probe came after suspicion on the presence of hundreds of substandard teachers in the district after a recruitment drive last year. The District Service Commission then resolved to conduct a general cleanup exercise to get rid of unqualified personnel in the sector.

According to Sebbowa, another 200 teachers are being investigated. He adds that such teachers are responsible for the drastic decline in academic performance.
 
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Paul Nantamu Bwana, the District Education Officer says they have resolved to ask all teachers in the district to first submit certified copies of their academic papers which they will forward to the Ministry Of Education for verification before they are paid this month's salary.

Bwana explains that these teachers could have used the weaknesses and laxity by the previous service commission to dubiously access the payroll, saying it will require them at least two months to complete the clean-up.
 
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However, Mowogola South Member of Parliament Joseph Kitayimbwa Ssekabiito has challenged education authorities to extend the exercise beyond hunting for the unqualified teachers but include officers that helped them penetrate the system.

Ssekabiito argues there must be well placed officers within the district that helped these teachers to access the payroll with forged papers, who equally need to be punished.

Henry Baguma, the Sembabule district Resident Commissioner says has instructed police to record statements from the dismissed teachers to aide further investigations. He says that besides the unqualified personnel, the district is struggling with absentee teachers who are g paid for no work done.

He cites Kawanda Church of Uganda Primary School in Lwemiyaga Sub County, which is currently manned by seven out of the 17 teachers that are indicated on their staff register.

In 2012 the district conducted a cleanup exercise in which a total of 487 ghost teachers that were appearing of registers of six and 42 government secondary and primary schools respectively in the district were unearthed.