Monitors Curb Teacher Absenteeism in Ntoroko

Henry Tinka, the assistant district education officer says that in just one year, teacher absenteeism has reduced from 60 to 25.

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Anti-corruption monitors have helped address teacher absenteeism in Ntoroko district.

Henry Tinka, the assistant district education officer says that in just one year, teacher absenteeism has reduced from 60% to 25%.

According to Tinka, some of the culprits have been presented to the district chief administrative officer for disciplinary action.

He also explains that absenteeism of teachers is top of the challenges that his office has been grappling with.

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Last year, the Anti-Corruption Coalition of Uganda-ACCU appointed monitors following the high rates of absenteeism in primary schools.

Under the arrangement, more than 80 monitors were given mobile phones and provided with a code number through which to send messages on gaps they identify in the sector to the ACCU secretariat in Kampala. ACCU in turn informs the relevant district authorities.

The monitors have so far registered some success with cases of teacher absenteeism down.

Milton Kankya, the head of the monitors says the monitors are facilitated to visit schools, identify some gaps and report to the authorities concerned.

The idea was introduce after a study which shows that Ntoroko district is one of those grappling with high levels of teacher absenteeism, abscordment from work and late coming

According to Kankya, the monitors carried out a survey which indicated that some teachers spend most of the school term in markets, looking for buyers for their milk and cattle.

Faith Mugisa, the monitor in-charge Karugutu Sub County says almost 90% of the schools visited in the area had teachers absent from work for the better part of the week.

Mugisa says this is common with teachers who do not reside near their places of work. He adds that some teachers were in the habit of signing in arrival books even when they have not showed up for work.

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Lawrence Bakahuwa, a parent says that the work of the monitors should be commended.  He wants the monitors to also crack down on pupil absenteeism. 

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According to figures in Transparency International\'s global corruption on education , published in 2013, teachers in Uganda were absent from their classes 27% of the time, the second-highest rate among 21 countries. The study describes the problem as one of the most serious forms of corruption in education.

The report attributed teacher absenteeism to factors such as illness, poor school infrastructure, transport problems, environmental conditions, lack of lunch available at school and even drunkenness.