Grace Munyambabazi, the Kabale Municipal Inspector of Schools, says religious leaders like parish priests and sheikhs who are mandated to supervise and monitor the progress of primary schools under them have ignored their responsibility.
The Ministry of Education and Sports introduced the special motivational incentive in 2012, as a measure to eliminate rampant absenteeism of teachers serving in hard-to-reach areas and attract and retain more teachers in such areas. Four years later, however, the initiative has failed to bear fruits in the district. Last month, more than 50 teachers in several primary schools in Ntoroko abandoned the schools, leaving pupils stranded.
Five years later, the initiative has begun to positively touch and change education in Kitgum district. Matthias Ager Kisembo, the head teacher of Kitgum Matidi Primary school, says the move has completely eliminated absenteeism and laziness among his staff.
At Kyaka Primary school, more than 200 P.5 pupils have gone without lessons for one week. Francis Ainebyoona, the head teacher says that six teachers have not reported for duty for fear of being arrested.
However, a few teachers have shown innovations in attempting to improve quality of performance among both the pupils and teachers, both in primary and secondary schools, though only with support of individual schools.
When Mrs Jill Kentaro, a grade three teacher, stepped forward to face her first class in 1986, she had 40 eager pupils to instruct. 28 years later, Kentaro struggles to teach a class of 130 pupils in Kampala Capital City Council Authority Kamwokya Primary School.
In the report it is revealed that 30% of the UPE teachers absentee themselves from the schools in the district each term. Mwirima cited an example of Ahamukungu Primary School located in a fishing village on Lake George in Kasese district, where a head teacher reported at this school at the beginning of the term and reported back at the end of the term.