The Education Service Commission yesterday completed a two-day interview for teachers to fill 3,400 secondary education teaching vacancies.
Mr Badru Lubega Waggwa, the commission’s chairperson, said they were overwhelmed by applicants after they received more than 34,000 for the 3,400 government teaching jobs in secondary schools. He says they had to subject the candidates to aptitude and oral interviews.
The numbers were then reduced to 17,000 teachers, who eventually sat the aptitude tests across the country at the six centres in Mbarara, Mbale, Arua, Fortportal, Kampala and Gulu.
“We were overwhelmed with applicants last year. All the teachers met the requirements. But we had to use other methods of eliminating them,” Mr Waggwa said in an interview.
He said they have three days to complete the marking exercise before successful candidates are presented for the oral interviews on February 25.
In the aptitude tests, the commission was looking out for teachers with the ability to think fast, reason and interpret questions.
Only three candidates will be shortlisted for each of the assistant education officer jobs while five teachers will be picked for the oral interviews to compete for the graduate posts.
One of the applicants, Ms Majorine Nabukalu, a teacher at St Kizito Katikamu, appealed to government to review their policies on recruitment to take into account those who graduated years before.
She said having taught for the last eight years on a private arrangement, she found herself competing with those who completed last year in the just concluded aptitude tests which she said was “unfair”.
Mr Waggwa said the interviews are free of charge and warned those taking advantage of the many unemployed teachers to take bribes to stop.
“We hear some people are asking for millions and promising to talk to the chairman to appoint them. The interviews are free. Nobody, not even the chairman can appoint you to any post,” Mr Waggwa said.
In January last year, the Ministry of Education, said they would recruit 2, 000 science teachers. Mr Dan Odongo, the Uneb executive secretary, reported that more than half of the candidates who sat last year’s Senior Four examinations failed the science-based subjects.
“There is still a challenge in overall pass levels for science subjects where nearly half of the candidates have not achieved the minimum pass 8 level. Chemistry was the worst done subject,” Mr Odongo said last month while releasing the 2018 UCE results.