Education commission wants government to punish ‘ghost’ masters

Sunday October 7 2012

Pupils attend class in a UPE school.

Pupils attend class in a UPE school. FILE PHOTO  

By Patience Ahimbisibwe

The commission of inquiry into the alleged mismanagement of universal education has recommended that government sanctions officials responsible for ghosts in implementing the programme.

The report implicates head teachers as central in the scum of introducing ghost learners in the system of both universal primary and secondary education while the Ministry of Public Service section that allots Personal Numbers for teachers, as well as computer services of the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development are the perpetrators of ghost teachers.

Those involved
“The commission has recommended that all officials responsible for creating ghosts in the system such as head-teachers, District Education Officers, Inspectors of Schools, Commissioner for Education (USE), Uganda Computer Services officials and Public Service payroll managers, both at district and central levels, should face sanctions,” reads part of State House press release.

The report was handed over to the President on Friday at State House, Nakasero by the Chairperson, Justice Ezekiel Muhanguzi. Mr Museveni commissioned the inquiry in December 2009.

The commission also found out a plan to defraud government of large sums of money in form of false salary arrears’ claims, inflated salary scales for both ghost teachers and those genuinely in service, among other perpetrations by officials involved in the mismanagement practices.

According to the findings, there is gross mismanagement of funds under the UPE and USE programmes mainly due to systematic issues and laxity on the part of key players in the implementation of policies and programs leading to loopholes for the creation of ghost pupils, students, teachers and schools, among others.

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Presidential Press Secretary Tamale Mirundi yesterday said because of decentralisation, there is lack of local leadership where parents have failed to monitor the programmes leaving it to government.

“The problem we have is decentralisation. There is lack of leadership. Our people don’t take government services serious. They think because it is government paying it is not their money,” Mr Mirundi said yesterday on phone.

The commission has seen its ups and downs with MPs questioning why it took long to deliver while others wondered why the commission was funded by the same agency it was inquiring where there are high chances of compromise.
Other MPs accused the commissioners of being compromised in order not to reveal the illegalities in UPE and USE.

pahimbisibwe@ug.nationmedia.com

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