2,500 teachers recruited, not deployed over budget

A teacher conducts a lesson in Uganda during the Covid-19 period. PHOTO/FILE/COURTESY 

What you need to know:

  • The affected teachers have been attacking the Education Service Commission for not deploying them on time.

At least 2,500 teachers, who were recruited by the Education Service Commission last year, are jobless and broke after the Ministry of Education and Sports failed to deploy them over budget shortfalls.
A total of 4,000 teachers were interviewed and recruited by the Education Service Commission between April and June last year.  However, only 1,500 teachers were deployed.

According to sources, the Education ministry does not have funds to facilitate the deployments and payments of salaries for the jobless teachers.
“These teachers have to wait a little longer until they get enough wages to facilitate their salaries,” a source said.
This was also confirmed last week by the Ministry of Education spokesperson, Dr Denis Mugimba.  

Of the 1,500 teachers who were deployed, 400 were sent to new seed schools, 600 replaced those who were found with fake academic documents and and 500 replaced the retirees and the deceased.
“All won’t be deployed soon due to wage shortfalls,” Mr Mugimba said.
A highly placed source in the ministry said the shortfall was caused by the enhancement of salaries of science teachers by the government.
 The source added that the government was releasing Shs7b for the last three years to facilitate the recruitment of teachers for the newly constructed seed secondary schools and to recruit teachers to schools that had few teachers.

Few teachers
It is also reported that some schools had as low as five teachers in the entire school,  which part of the Shs7b was supposed to recruit and raise the numbers to at least 25 recommended per school.
“Unless the Ministry of Education gets a new budget for the recruitment of these teachers, they are likely to remain unemployed until further notice,” the source said, adding: “We cannot put the teachers on the payroll when there is no money to pay them. We do not want the government to accumulate arrears.”

One of the affected teachers, who preferred anonymity over fear of being penalised, told this publication that his former school refused to renew his contract after the government recruited him and he is now jobless.
“My private school refused to renew my contract thinking the government is going to deploy me in vain. Let the government come out and tell us when they are going to deploy all of us,” the  teacher said.

The Secretary General of Uganda National Teachers Union (Unatu), Mr Filbert Baguma, faulted the government for recruiting the teachers and raising their hopes yet it did not have the capacity to deploy and pay them. 
“It is an anomaly because every advert follows the existence of vacancy and budget. Before an advert is run, it means you have a budget to pay the staff. For the government to begin the process of recruitment and towards the end they realise there is no money. This is not realistic,” Mr Baguma said.
“The government should prioritise the education sector if quality education is to be delivered,” he added.

 However, Mr Mohammad Kaaya,  the Commissioner for Education Services at the Education Service Commission,  said they are to recruit teachers in accordance with the directive of the Ministry of Education, which has the mandate to deploy the recruited teachers.
“The job of the Education Service Commission is to advertise, interview and recruit teachers depending on the need. It is the role of the Ministry of Education to deploy them depending on the need and gaps in schools, “Mr Muhammad said.

Ministry plan 

The Commissioner of Human Resource in the Education ministry,  Mr Ronald Kiberu, asked the affected teachers to be patient with the government as they find means of deploying them, but on replacement basis.
According to Mr Kiberu, the Ministry of Education is looking at dismissing teachers who absconded from duty to create room for the newly recruited teachers.
He said some teachers have been sick for the last 10 years and are not retiring, others went to study abroad and have spent more than five years and are still accessing the government payroll.
He added that some teachers are running private schools within the same locality with the government schools.