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Old Age, Transfer of Service Hits Education Services in Katakwi :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Old Age, Transfer of Service Hits Education Services in Katakwi

John Bosco Okiror, the Inspector of Schools in Katakwi, says some teachers have retired on medical grounds while others left the district after transferring their services to other districts. He added that some teachers absconded from duty after being transferred to schools at the border with Karamoja.
Students of St. Stephen SS in Katakwi.

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Katakwi district is still battling a huge shortage of teachers to run the 78 government-aided schools there. With a staff ceiling of more than 1,400 teachers, Katakwi only has 644 teachers manning more than 55,000 learners.

The number of teachers has kept declining since schools opened in January this year. Daniel Alileng, Katakwi District Inspector of Schools told our report in January that there were 750 teachers including head teachers in the district. But the number has kept dropping due to the retirement and death of some teachers. 

 John Bosco Okiror, the Inspector of Schools in Katakwi, says some teachers have retired on medical grounds while others left the district after transferring their services to other districts. He added that some teachers absconded from duty after being transferred to schools at the border with Karamoja.

As a result, the district is struggling to offer education services due to an inadequate number of teachers. On average, the teacher: pupil ratio stands at 1:91 against the national average of 1:45. John Okot, the Headteacher of Akoboi- Kapujan Primary School says that there are more than seven schools with less than five teachers running seven classrooms. 

Okot, who doubles as the chairperson of the Uganda National Teachers’ Union- UNATU in Katakwi, says that the most affected, is Guyaguya Primary School with only three teachers. He observes that the shortage of teachers is affecting performance at Primary Leaving Examination- PLE and other national examinations like UCE and UACE.

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In April this year, Katakwi advertised jobs for teachers in the district. A total of 274 teachers were successful after the interviews conducted by the District Service Commission- DSC. But the district has not yet issued appointments to the newly recruited teachers over the alleged recruitment irregularities.

Faith Akwi, the Acting Principal Assistant Secretary in Katakwi says that the district recruited over and above the available funds provided for recruitment. “The district recruited beyond what was cleared. This trend has been going on even in the previous years like it is normal because the ministry would eventually see that Katakwi has this wage discrepancy and then they would automatically update. 

However, things have changed where the district first seeks clearance before recruitment," she told teachers gathered to celebrate their day at Apuuton Primary School. Geoffrey Omolo, the LC V Chairperson of Katakwi district, says that they are following up on the matter with the line ministries to ensure that the district recruits an adequate number of teachers to facilitate good learning in schools.

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Katakwi district has been among the poor-performing districts at PLE, UCE, and UACE. In the 2021 PLE results, Katakwi passed only 62 candidates in first grade and more than 1,000 in second and third grades.