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Luwero Headteachers Face Disciplinary Action for Covering Up Absentee Teachers :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Luwero Headteachers Face Disciplinary Action for Covering Up Absentee Teachers

The Chief Administrative Officer, Innocent Asaba Birekeyaho, issued this warning after impromptu visits by a district team revealed rampant absenteeism among teachers.
Luwero Chairman Erastus Kibirango speaking to Secondary School Headteachers at Luwero SS

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Headteachers of government Primary and Secondary schools in Luwero district have been warned that they will be held liable for covering absentee teachers. The Chief Administrative Officer, Innocent Asaba Birekeyaho, issued this warning after impromptu visits by a district team revealed rampant absenteeism among teachers.

According to Asaba, the team found cases of absenteeism in schools, but headteachers opted not to report them for disciplinary action. Some secondary schools were found to have science teachers who only report to schools once a week or twice a month, but these cases are never reported to the district for action. Asaba also discovered that some headteachers were being bribed by teachers to overlook their absenteeism and allow them to engage in other private jobs. 

In response to these findings, Asaba directed headteachers to submit monthly attendance lists of all teachers to his office through the District Education Office. He explained that any headteacher who fails to report an absentee teacher will be personally held liable for connivance and may face disciplinary actions, including dismissal from their duty. 

Erastus Kibirango, the LC 5 Chairperson of Luwero district, expressed concern that some science teachers were hiring motorcyclists to transport them to schools for just a few hours of teaching before returning to their private jobs. Kibirango also criticized the Ministry of Education and Sports for deploying secondary teachers in the district for the sole purpose of accessing payrolls without offering services.   

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Wasswa Tamale, the Luwero District National Resistance Movement Spokesperson, noted that although the Ministry of Education had donated smartphones to schools through the Teacher Effectiveness and Learner Achievement (TELA) performance monitoring system, it hasn't had the desired impact. He urged the Chief Administrative Officer to take disciplinary action against absentee teachers to save taxpayers money paid to non-performing teachers.

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Canon Dr. Charles Kahigiriza, the Chairperson of Luwero Secondary School Headteachers’ Association, said some schools had allowed teachers to teach fewer days per week to save costs, but now they have resolved to ensure that all teachers offer services at least four days a week.

The Uganda Public Service Standing Orders empower responsible officers to stop the salary of any officer who absconds from duty and submit a formal directive for their removal from public service. Luwero district has 230 Universal Primary schools, 23 government-aided secondary schools, and two technical institutions.