Majority of the primary teachers in government schools have indicated an urgency to leave the profession in the next two years, a latest ministry of Education survey has shown.
According to Dr Yusuf Nsubuga, the director Basic Education at the ministry, only 16 per cent of their primary school teachers want to remain in the profession. This means that 84 per cent, representing 113,400 out of 135,000 primary teachers on government payroll want to quit their job.
The research, which also looked at teacher’s job satisfaction in government primary institutions, showed that 47 per cent of the teachers were dissatisfied with their job while 59 per cent indicated that they could not choose the career again.
“Most teachers would like to leave the teaching profession within two years. Only 16 per cent of primary teachers aspire to remain in the teaching profession over the next two years while 78 per cent of teachers believe that teachers with whom they work are dissatisfied with their job. The perception of dissatisfaction in the profession is high,” Dr Nsubuga said.
He made the remarks at the ongoing 20th Education Sector Review workshop in Kampala yesterday under theme “Improving teacher effectiveness for enhanced quality learning outcomes”.
It was reported that the rate to abandon the profession is six times higher among unsatisfied teachers than among satisfied teachers. The western region has the highest number of unsatisfied teachers while the eastern region has the least. The report comes in the wake of teachers’ strike, which has paralysed operations in most public schools.
According to Dr Nsubuga, salary has remained the main reason for job dissatisfaction. He explained that no major pay increase has been recorded since 2004/05 among post-primary teachers as most civil servants, leaving both Grade V and Graduate teacher wages to steadily decrease in real terms, by about 25 per cent over.
Donors also reechoed the teachers’ concerns yesterday, insisting that government meets their obligations as soon as possible. “This year has been characterized by a number of strikes by teachers and lecturers over government’s commitment to increase their pay.
We hope this can be resolved amicably and teaching can continue during this examination term,” said Mr Dónal Cronin, the acting Ireland Ambassador to Uganda, in a joint statement by education development partners. “Hope this meeting will address the issues of teacher competency, resources, motivation and accountability. The future of Uganda is in the hands of teachers.”
However, Education minister Jessica Alupo said: “There is need to recognise the fact that as a developing economy, there can never be an adequate provision of any required resources.”