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Hardship Allowance Changing Education In Kitgum

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.

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The modest hardship allowance paid to teachers living and working in remote areas of the country is slowly paying dividends in Kitgum district. 

The special motivational incentive was introduced in 2011 as a measure to eliminate rampant resignation of teachers serving in such areas. The other objective was to attract and retain more teachers in areas serviced by inadequate social amenities including Karamoja.

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.

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Kisembo says the allowance has enhanced syllabus coverage through remedial lessons which were nonexistent before the hardship allowance. Calculated at 30 percent of the monthly pay, the rate varies from teacher to teacher as Kisembo explains. 

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Teachers in Labilo Primary school in Lagoro Sub County are not so fortunate to stay at school for lack of accommodation. But John Oyat, the school deputy head teacher says the hardship allowance has given his teachers strong motivation to report for duty every day. 

He says the major challenge is when teachers wait for long to be confirmed for them to start benefiting.

Joseph Lomongin, the chief administrative officer of Kitgum district, says government has been very consistent in paying the hardship allowance since it was introduced five years ago.

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Another important milestone complementing the hardship allowance is the construction of staff houses, installed with solar power. Lomongin, says the initiatives are testimony to the fact that removing a giant mountain begins with carrying away smaller stones a piece at a time. 

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