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Public Universities Still Grappling With Understaffing

In their presentations to the education committee, the vice chancellors for Muni University, Busitema University, Gulu University, Mbarara University, Soroti University, Kabale University and Lira University all decried the alarming understaffing levels that fall way below the recommended 55.
The Vice Chancellor of Mbarara University Prof. Celestino Obua, Gulu University's Prof. George Openjuru Ladaah and others before the Education committee.

Audio 4

Public Universities in Uganda have continued to grapple with alarming low levels of under-staffing of teaching staff, Parliament's Education Committee has heard. 

The Auditor General's reports over the years queried the inadequate teaching staff in public universities despite the fact that teaching is the core activity of universities.

The auditor general noted that under staffing leads to work overload on the existing staff and limits the ability of the universities to effectively deliver and achieve their mandate.  

Vice Chancellors and other administrative heads of different public universities today appeared before the Education Committee chaired by Pallisa County MP Jacob Opolot to present their budget framework papers for the next financial year 2019/2020.  

In their presentations, the vice chancellors for Muni University, Busitema University, Gulu University, Mbarara University, Soroti University, Kabale University and Lira University all decried the alarming under-staffing levels that fall way below the recommended 55%.  

Busitema University is at a mere 20% academic staff and 16% on support staff, Muni University at 30% staff level, Kabale University at just 20%, while Gulu University at 42% of the required staff and others.  

The Vice Chancellor of Mbarara University Prof. Celestino Obua adds that the under-staffing levels are worsened by failure to promote staff. He says this has affected Mbarara University staffing level which has now further dropped to 22% from 27%.  

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Prof. George Openjuru Ladaah, the Gulu University noted that for the last 5 years they have been planning to recruit 43 additional teaching staff at 3.3 billion Shillings, but despite their plan being approved and submitted to the Public Service for consideration the Public Service Ministry is yet to consider it hence no funds provided to date.  

He also concurred with Mbarara University's Prof. Obua on loss of staff to other universities due to failure to promote them.  

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Busitema University's Vice Chancellor Prof. Mary Okwakol said that her university has not been provided funds for recruitment of staff in the coming financial year despite the low staffing levels currently standing at 20%.  

She revealed that out of the required 760 academic staff required, the university has only 167. Out of the required 2,040 non-teaching staff required, they have 268.  

Okwakol says that this hinders the capacity of the University to carry out its mandate of teaching, training, research, publication and innovations since most staff are overloaded with teaching. She appealed for 3.57 billion Shillings to enable Busitema recruit critical staff.  

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According to the Kabale University's presentation to the education committee, the institution requires 8.1 billion Shillings to recruit more teaching staff to increase their staff levels from 20%, while Muni University requires 1.86 billion Shillings to also recruit staff.  

Workers MP Margaret Rwabushaija said that the poor staffing levels have a negative effect on the quality of education due to the heavy work load on the existing staff.  

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