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Napak Struggling to Track Teacher Absenteeism

At Longalom Primary School in Matany Sub County, teachers tore the arrival book to avoid being tracked. This left the school management stuck for weeks.
Daniela Naputuka, head teacher Lomngalom Primary School in her office where daily teachers' attendance displayed on wall charts.

Audio 2

Education authorities in Napak district are struggling to track teacher attendance in schools as some teachers resort to destroying attendance books.

With only 303 teachers against an enrolment of more than 22,000 pupils across the district, teacher absenteeism is one of the major issues affecting education performance in Napak.

At Longalom Primary School in Matany Sub County, teachers tore the attendance book to avoid being tracked. This left the school management stuck for weeks.

Daniela Naputuka, the head teacher of the school says she had to improvise an alternative book under her lock to track the teachers' attendance.

Naputuka notes that much as the teacher who tore the attendance book has been punished at the school level, his case has not yet been taken to the district after he apologized.

She explained that teachers' absenteeism is a serious challenge in the school that hosts 1,172 pupil enrolment against 12 teachers.

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But Joyce Nakoya, the District Education Officer in Napak says such conducts, which she observes are rare incidences, are regrettable. She notes that most of the absenteeism cases are handled at school level and extreme cases sent to the district for further action. 

She says that she will follow up the matter at Longalom and also seek attendance books from other schools in the district.

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Teacher absenteeism does not only affect the performance but also disrupts learning in class.

At Longalom, more than 300 children especially in lower classes are forced learn in one stream as some of the teachers who would help in splitting the class fail to turn up. The school has only managed to have with only one pupil in first grade in the past two years. 

In Karamoja, district data reports compiled by UN Agency for Children, UNICEF in December 2017 indicate that 60% of teachers are not even teaching; 28% are in school but not in class, 24% are not at school and 6% are in class but not teaching.