KAMPALA: Recently, the Education Service Commission rolled out a validation process for teachers in post-primary institutions in the central region to clean up the payroll, establish the status of teachers and staffing gaps.
The exercise is meant to identify teachers who left the profession and those who returned after the COVID-19 school closure.
The validation process was exercised following accumulated cases of ghost teachers in schools. The commission attributed the existence of ghost teachers to headteachers.
Rev. Prof. Dr. Samuel A. Lugoba, the Chairperson for Education Service Commission, said the irregularities are pinned on headteachers given the fact that none of them can be done without their knowledge.
Rev. Prof. Dr. Lugoba added that although they have been able to get reports from concerned persons, including teachers, parents, and students, they are planning means of obtaining concrete evidence before making final decisions on the matter.
Although the commission has not issued a formal report on the process, as they wait to traverse the entire country, some of the more prominent irregularities included the hiring of mercenaries as dully appointed teachers who refused to report on duty but rather subcontracted another person teach.
Dr. Asuman Lukwago, the Secretary of Education Service Commission, said the commission found cases where some teachers brought in other teachers to fill their place as they conduct other personal businesses. He added that their investigations show that some even went abroad but still earn a salary.
“Besides that, there are also several teachers on government payroll teaching at a given school but receive their salary from another. To the commission this is also fishy and creates a false availability of staff in a school,” Dr. Lukwago said, adding that the commission is moving to establish how this could have happened and why such cases have not been communicated to the authorities to be sorted out.
Furthermore, there are circumstances where teachers on the payroll died several years ago but are still drawing salaries.
According to the available data, the government spends 7.3 billion Shillings per year on salaries paid to unscrupulous teachers on the payroll. This amount of money can be used to build three fully-equipped seed schools, each at 2.3 billion Shillings.
Dr. John Chrysostom Muyingo, the State Minister in charge of Higher Education, said he is confident that at the end of the validation process, they will be able to identify the gaps.
Muyingo added that the exercise will also help the relevant authorities in education to plan for the sector thus urging teachers to embrace the ongoing validation exercise.
The Commission has rolled out the exercise to other regions of Acholi-Lango, Ankole-Kigezi, Bunyoro-Toro-Rwenzori, Bukedi-EIgon, Teso-Karamoja, Busoga, and West Nile.
The entire exercise is expected to be concluded next month, before the end of the first term.