Education ministry moves to rid schools of fake teachers

Mr Francis Oleke Ocero, the Oyam District Education Officer, speaks to students on December 1, 2022. PHOTO | BILL OKETCH

What you need to know:

  • Dr Jaspher Abura, the Lira City education officer, said the biggest challenge they have with secondary school teachers is that they are recruited by the Education Service Commission.

The  Ministry of Education and Sports  has launched an operation to rid secondary schools of people who  got teaching jobs using forged appointment letters.

Speaking to the Monitor in Lira City last Friday,  the Commissioner in-charge of Human Resource Management at the Ministry of Education,  Mr Ronald Kiberu, said: “Some bought them (letters) from the streets, some bought them from bus parks. How can you get an appointment letter on the streets?” 

He added: “If I gave you a letter of appointment from a taxi park, would you believe it? The public should be able to know how jobs in Public Service are secured. If there was no advert and I never sat for any interviews, how come I get an appointment letter?”

Mr Kiberu said they had submitted a list of teachers with forged appointment letters to Ms Janet Museveni, the Education minister.

He said Ms Museveni, who is also the First Lady, had instructed the Directorate of Criminal Investigations Department to  investigate the matter.

“The minister of Education in August last year tasked the Education Service Commission to find out from the human resource officers the issue of forgery among the teachers,” he said, adding: “We were able to get an inventory of the total number of teachers with forged appointment letters  in secondary schools and the list has been submitted to the minister who has already alerted police for action.”

Mr Kiberu said during the recent countrywide validation exercise of secondary school teachers, they found several cases of teachers with forged appointments.

“We went to the field and those teachers with forged appointment letters were running away from schools and some never turned up for the validation exercise. In the exercise, you would find someone does not have even a single record with the Ministry of Education and Sports because they never went through the authentic recruitment process,” Mr Kiberu added.

He further said: “There are proper mechanisms for getting a job. Jobs are advertised, sit interviews and when you are successful, you go through and get an appointment.”

Mr Kiberu said the names of those who  secured teaching jobs using forged appointment letters would be deleted from the payroll and they would be prosecuted.

He added that they would be replaced by a pool of 4,000 teachers who have been recruited but not yet deployed.

“We have been verifying these teachers on a daily basis. But the more we clean, the more others are accessing our system and we believe there is a syndicate with people within [Education ministry],”  Mr Kiberu said.

In Oyam, the district education officer (DEO), Mr Francis Oleke Ocero, confirmed that some people secured teaching  jobs   irregularly.

“It is true there are forgeries in secondary schools. In Oyam, we discovered two people who forged documents and we took them back to the Education ministry where they came from,” Mr Oleke said on December 1, 2022.

Mr Oleke made the remarks after a Senior Two student of Atapara Secondary School in Oyam, said some of their teachers are not qualified for the job.

“We lack computers and science laboratory equipment and we are aware that some teachers are not qualified to teach because they have forged academic papers,” the student said.

There are 10 government-aided secondary schools in Oyam.

Dr Jaspher Abura, the Lira City education officer, said the biggest challenge they have with secondary school teachers is that they are recruited by the Education Service Commission.

“So, our duty as local government is just to receive them when they are posted to schools within our locality,” he said.

Mr Abura said the issue of forged appointment letters can only be handled by the central government which employs the teachers.

He warned that the issue of forging appointment letters is criminal and those implicated will have to face the law.

“We have so far deleted names of three secondary school teachers in Lira who were in the ministry’s institutional payroll due to forged appointment letters,” he said.

Mr Abura added that the ministry is also helping them in identifying and deleting from the payroll system those with fake appointment letters.

Compiled by Bill Oketch, Patrick  Ebong & Charity Akullo