Kampala- Many teachers in Karamoja sub-region abandon classes to ride boda bodas to earn extra income, a study by Moroto and Nakapiripirit Religious Leaders’ Initiative for Peace (Mornarip), has revealed.
While presenting the report dubbed; “Corruption in the education sector in Karamoja”, at the launch of Karamoja Anti-Corruption Coalition (KAC) last week in Kampala, Mr Denis Okori, Mornarip’s coordinator, said the study conducted between August and October last year, found out that many teachers arrive at their respective schools as early as 8am, sign in the attendance book and disappear.
“Absenteeism of teachers has turned cancerous in Karamoja, especially in Moroto and Nakapiripirit districts. Teachers sign in the arrival books and disappear for personal activities like boda boda riding or attend to their merchandise,” Mr Okori said.
Public servants are prohibited from engaging in any employment during work hours.
According to the report, majority of absentee teachers are recruited outside Karamoja.
Mr Okori said their study found out that there is misuse of Universal Primary Education funds by some head teachers.
He said several head teachers present accountability documents where they claim they spent on co-curricular activities such as sports and music yet such activities did not take place.
The report faulted district officials and PTA committees for not effectively inspecting schools.
However, Mr John Charles Loumo, the Napak principal education officer, refuted the findings, saying they are biased.
“We have always monitored schools’ operation to ensure that the pupils get what took them to school. Whenever I visit the school, I find the teachers on duty or sometimes it is only one teacher missing. It is wrong to say we don’t inspect the schools,” Mr Loumo said.
Ms Cissy Kagaba, the executive director Anti-Corruption Coalition Uganda, concurred with the report, saying if teachers were present, it would be reflected in the performance at national exams.