Namutumba teachers shun govt staff houses

Teacher Annet Ntono dries her clothes on a washing line at the staff houses of the government aided Kigalama Primary School in Namutumba District last week. Most teachers have shunned the houses saying they are dilapidated and put their lives at risk. PHOTO/RONALD SEEBE

What you need to know:

  • A number of teachers have shunned sleeping in the few available houses and use them as firewood stores.

Teachers in Namutumba District have shunned the few staff houses in government-aided primary schools, saying most of them were built during the leadership of President Apollo Milton Obote and are in a dilapidated state. 

Ms Annet Ntono, a teacher at Kigalama Primary School in Namutumba Sub-county, said some teachers share the houses, which lack toilets, water and bathrooms.

“You find a school with two houses being shared by more than 20 staff members. What they do is male teachers end up sharing one house with their female colleagues; so, we urge the government to construct modern staff houses, which will accommodate all teachers,” she said at the weekend.

Ms Rose Naigaga, a teacher at Nawampandu Primary School, said several staff houses were constructed using unburnt bricks, while some were built using poles, mud and uncemented floor.

According to her, most teachers fear sleeping in such houses because they put their lives and those of their kids at risk in case they collapse.

Mr Aggrey Lugemu, the head teacher of Upper Primary School in Namutumba Town Council, said it is the government’s responsibility to construct staff houses in all Universal Primary Education (UPE) schools to curb late coming.

Mr Charles Balise, the head teacher of Kigalama Primary School, urged the government to allocate funds to renovate staff houses and make them fit for habitation.

The district chairperson, Mr David Mukisa, noted that a number of teachers have shunned sleeping in the few available houses and cautioned them against using them as stores for firewood. 

“I admit the lack of enough staff houses in UPE schools and their poor condition, but I urge teachers to sleep in the few available ones instead of turning them into stores. Some (teachers) are missing lessons because they reach late at school. You find one teaching in Namutumba but sleeps in Iganga,” he said.

But parents said primary teachers have become part-timers.

“We used to hear of part-time teachers at Universities and secondary schools, but it has reached primary level,” Mr Robert Wakabi, a parent at Kigalama Primary School, said.

He added: “We have reached an extent of having teachers coming in for only morning lessons and another group for evening lessons. Some teachers come to school from Monday to Wednesday, while others on Thursday and Friday.”

Mr Joshua Nampero, a parent at Nawampandu Primary School, said staff houses are for the teachers who got jobs in Namutumba but hail from far districts such as Mbale, Kumi and Butaleja.


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