Inspectors of schools in the Rwenzori region are on the spot for incompetence. In a report compiled by a coalition of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) operating in the region, despite being facilitated to do their work, the inconsistent visits by inspectors to schools is one of the leading contributors to the high failure rates in primary and secondary schools in the region.
According to the Ministry of Education and Sports, inspectors of schools are expected to ensure quality learning delivery of education. They are also supposed to regularly assess schools on whether they are sticking to the guidelines issued by the ministry.
In the districts of Kabarole and Bundibugyo, some inspectors have spent a whole year without visiting the schools and yet they are receiving their salary. The report cites primary schools in the sub counties of Busaru, Nyahuka and Ntoroto in Bundibugyo where no single inspector has ever visited.
In Kabarole district, the head teacher Karambi Primary School, Godfrey Amanyire supports the outcome of the report. Amanyire says that since the beginning of this year, no inspector has ever visited the school. He says that even when the inspectors are invited to attend the school management committee meetings, they fail to turn up.
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Henry Muhenda, a research officer with Rwenzori Advocacy in Education, a NGO operating in the region, says that some teachers have taken advantage of the inspectors’ incompetence to dodge classes, which has resulted to poor performance in schools. He also says that there are many mushrooming schools which aren’t complying with the set minimum operational, safety and security standards.
Muhenda wants the district authorities to take action against the inspectors, whom he says are earning tax payers money, without performing their required responsibilities.
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Richard Magezi, the acting Kabarole district inspector of schools defends the inspectors. According to Magezi, some of the inspectors are attached to schools located in hard to reach areas and yet they aren’t facilitated with transport.
In Bundibugyo, Benjamin Asiimwe the district education officer says that the district is aware of the problem and says that the district has taken action against some inspectors for being incompetent. According to Asiimwe, last year, the district suspended 10 inspectors following the poor performance of schools in the Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE).
The Auditor General's office has in the past faulted the Ministry of Education for failure to improve on school inspections. In a 2011 report on the inspection of primary schools in the country, it indicates the Education Ministry is not carrying out adequate inspections of primary schools to ensure quality learning delivery.