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UNATU: Teacher Absenteeism Due to Lack of Supervisory Structure

Ssengendo David, the Chairman Uganda Primary School Head Teachers’ Association (UPSHA), said that schools are receiving minimum supervision from even head teachers who tend to leave schools in the hands of teachers who are also supposed to be supervised by the head teacher.
UPSHA Chairman Ssengendo before a parliamentary committee

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Uganda National Teachers Union (UNATU) has attributed teacher absenteeism especially in rural areas to lack of inspections of schools by District Education Officers and supervision from head teachers to ensure that teachers attend to their duties.

 

They said that in urban areas schools are inspected on a daily basis which is not the case in rural schools.

 

This was after the chairperson of the Parliament’s Education committee Sylivia Namabidde demanded that UNATU explains why teachers keep away from work and students miss class lesson and end up being cheated.

 

Ssengendo David, the Chairman Uganda Primary School Head Teachers’ Association (UPSHA), said that schools are receiving minimum supervision from even head teachers who tend to leave schools in the hands of teachers who are also supposed to be supervised by the head teacher.

 

He also said that the welfare of teachers affects their performance in schools  as they tend to look at other sources of income for their survival.

 

Ssengendo said that small salaries teachers receive infrequently deter them from concentrating on their work.

 

He noted that also lack of rewards to teachers citing the scheme of service that was expected to motivate teachers and but seems not to be working because many  teachers are not considered for promotions in their service.

 

Ssengendo also partly blamed sickness has another reason why teachers are kept away from class rooms.

 

//Cue in: “supervision has to be…..

 

Cue out:… the community around”//

 

Nakate Kikomeko, the Chairperson of the National Secondary Schools Head Teachers of Uganda (NASSHU) said that a big challenge is there are not enough Science teachers for all the secondary schools in the country.

 

She said that these science teachers teach from one school to another which means they cannot be in one school for long hence contributing to absenteeism.

 

She asked that the time on task of science teachers be improved.

 

//Cue in: “so I would like to admit….

Cue out:…professional development”//

 

The Chairperson of the Education Committee Sylivia Namabidde noted that many teachers had even opted to stop the tradition of enrolling their children in schools they teach. She said this is a sad reflection on the status of education in their schools

 

MP Julius Maganda also sitting on the Education Committee said that head teachers in most of the rural schools dodge going to schools and resort to drinking alcohol and hence do not carry out their supervisory role.

 

He added that the constant transfer of teachers from one school to another affects performance in schools since teachers are not allowed time to concentrate on their work.

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