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Bushenyi District Restricts Teacher Visits to Curb Absenteeism

William Ahabwe, the Bushenyi district inspector of schools says that the decision, reached by the top district administration, now restricts visits to Wednesdays. Ahabwe says that several teachers and head teachers have been abandoning schools claiming that they are always at the district headquarters handling administrative matters.
Teachers in Bushenyi District will only be allowed to visit the district headquarters and other offices, once a week, as a new measure to curb absenteeism.

William Ahabwe, the Bushenyi district inspector of schools says that the decision, reached by the top district administration, now restricts visits to Wednesdays. Ahabwe says that several teachers and head teachers have been abandoning schools claiming that they are always at the district headquarters handling administrative matters.

It follows concerns about the alarming rates of teacher absenteeism in the district.

Unacceptably high Headteacher and teachers' absenteeism, estimated at 20 percent, were highlighted as the main challenges encountered in the implementation of education programmes, according to the Annual Education Sector Performance Report 2015-2016.

On the average, a primary teacher is estimated to be absent for at least 2 days a week leading to low efficiency in education. Recent reports by Uwezo, indicate that the high prevalence of teacher absenteeism has led to poor performance in UPE schools.

Oscar Muhumuza the head teacher at Bushenyi town school revealed that some teachers have been hiding under visits to the district headquarters to stay away from school. He, however, says the restriction of visits to the district headquarters must be coordinated well to ensure that the particular day of the week is used properly and those who visit the district are served.

But one teacher who talked on condition of anonymity said the decision is not right. He argues that the presence of teachers at the school does not necessarily mean that they are teaching adding that instead, the authorities should work towards motivating teachers.

Bushenyi District Secretary for Education Peace Tibakuna told our reporter that the decision is aimed at ending unnecessary excuses by teachers to stay away from school.