What you need to know:
- Authorities say currently, the country has a total of 12,433 UPE schools, with 136,819 teachers teaching 8,624,264 learners in these institutions.
The State Minister for Primary Education, Ms Joyce Kaducu, has said government is planning to recruit a total of 78,888 primary teachers to fill the teacher- pupil ratio gap in the Universal Primary Education (UPE) schools.
Addressing journalists at the Uganda Media Centre yesterday, Ms Kaducu said the decision follows a Cabinet approval to enforce the principles of quality free and compulsory UPE and Universal Secondary Education (USE) beginning financial year 2024/2025 and ensuring teacher to learner ratio of 1:40.
She noted that currently, the country has a total of 12,433 UPE schools, with 136,819 teachers teaching 8,624,264 learners in these institutions.
After the recruitment, the number of primary school teachers in UPE schools will rise to 215,707, which will eventually reduce the teacher-to-learner ratio gap.
Although the minister did not reveal the amount of money that will be used in the recruitment exercise, she noted that the government has committed more funds to enforce and implement UPE. Ms Kaducu also revealed that the government will also establish a UPE school in each of the 1,617 parishes/wards without government primary schools, which will bring the total of UPE schools in the country to 14,050.
“Government will require a total of Shs1.98 trillion to construct and operationalise the 1,617 schools, with each primary school costing Shs1.22 billion,” she said.
Ms Kaducu also revealed that government will also construct a USE school in each of the 350 sub-counties that currently don’t have one.
She, however, noted that the country has enough secondary school teachers, who only need redistribution to achieve the desired teacher to student ratio of 1:40.
“For the secondary education, there are 30,085 teachers handling 834,921 students in public secondary schools, which implies that if you take the ratio of 1:40, we have excess teachers in public secondary schools,” she explained.
Ms Kaducu said her ministry has realised that many secondary school teachers are concentrated in schools in urban centres at the expense of those in rural areas.
However, last month, this publication published a story in which it was reported that more than 2,500 secondary school teachers, who were recruited by the Education Service Commission last year, are jobless after the Ministry of Education failed to deploy them over budget shortfalls.
A total of 4,000 teachers were recruited by the Education Service Commission between April and June last year.
However, only 1,500 teachers were deployed.
More UPE schools
Minister Kaducu also revealed that the government will also establish a UPE school in each of the 1,617 parishes/wards without government primary schools, which will bring the total of UPE schools in the country to 14,050 schools.