Pupils in government-funded schools in remote parts of Kabarole district are forced to study for just two weeks a month because of a severe shortage of teachers. Worst affected are Katebwa, Nsura, Kisomoro, Rwibale, Kiamara, Kichwamba, Rwenkuba and Kibota primary schools. The schools, which are all under the Universal Primary Education program, are located in the Rwenzori Mountains and surrounding foothills. For the most part, the schools are staffed with just a head teacher and three teachers. Between them, the teachers must handle populations of over 800 pupils. The result has been a sharp decline in education standards. In last year's Primary Leaving Examinations, none of the schools managed first, second or third grade passes. All the students obtained fourth grade results, most of them failing the examinations outright. David Mukirane, a member of the School Management Committee at Nsura Primary School, says parents have played their part in ensuring that the school remains afloat. He says they have provided food and scholastic materials for all the children, but this can only do so much without an adequate number of teachers. Mukirane says the onus is on the district to recruit teachers to fill the vacancies in the schools. //Cue in: iWe are trying our best #i Cue out: i# children can be attended to.i// At Rwibale Primary School, Richard Kugonza the chairperson of the Parents and Teachers Association revealed that although a number of teachers were recruited, many of them have reported for work. He says the hired teachers complained about the remote location of the school and the lack of accommodation there. Harriet Kabasomi, whose children are enrolled at Rwibale Primary School, says that she will move them to a cheap private school next term. She says that since the second term begun, her children have only been taught for one month. The Kabarole Inspector of Schools, Stella Kabanyoro, says the shortage of teachers in the district has partly been caused by the slashing of the teacher slash ceiling by the Ministry of Education. She says that under new regulations, 90 teaching positions have been lost. Kabanyoro however says available positions still need to be filled. She says the District Service Commission has been given a list of 115 available positions in schools around the district. //Cue in: iWe have not recruited teachers #i Cue out: i# post them to the schools.i//
Updated: 03 Dec, 15:0015:00
About the author
Culture, agriculture and the environment are just two areas of many of interest to Kajubu. As long as he has held a pen, Kajubu has also written about public policy, health and crime.
Kajubu is keen on impacting his society not just as a writer but also a trainer and mentor. Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts fall under his docket. Kajubu has been a URN staff member since 2008.