By Weswa Ronnie
Government-aided secondary schools in Namisindwa district are facing challenge of few teachers.
Namisindwa district has ten government-aided secondary schools and all have few science and Arts teachers.
This website sampled schools like Namisindwa secondary school which has only 12 teachers handling a population of 650 students, Bumbo secondary school with 24 teachers handling a population of over 1,000 students, Magale secondary school with 10 teachers handling a number of about 700 students among others.
Joseph Washi Makwa, the head teacher of Magale secondary school said that few teachers have affected the performance of senior six and four results in previous years.
‘’I have only one biology teacher, one physics teacher, one chemistry teacher who teaches from senior one to senior six which is hard for a teacher to run all those classes in one week,’’ Mr. Washi said.
The head teacher also said that likewise in Arts subjects, teachers are not enough to handle the big population of the students the school has.
Mr. Washi said ‘’ since the government is promoting science in the country, it should recruit more science teachers at all schools across the country instead of only increasing their salaries’’.
James Makhola, the chairperson of the Parents and teachers Association [PTA ] of Bumbo secondary school says the performance of government-aided schools in the district during last year’s senior four and six Exams was really poor due to many challenges including a few numbers of teachers.
Vincent Walimbwa, the director of studies at Namisindwa Secondary School said the ratio of teachers to students is 1; 100 which becomes hard for the teacher to teach.
Mr. Walimbwa said’’ Several times we have raised this problem of having few teachers to the ministry of education through the office of the Chief administrative officer but up to now as a school, we have never got positive results.‘’
We want the district through the Public Services Commission to come and interview our teachers who are currently on PTA payroll those who will pass the interview send their names to Ministry of public service such that they can be put on the government payroll as the only quickest method than waiting for ministry of public services to send teachers at secondary schools at Namisindwa which is becoming hard.’’ Mr . Walimbawa said.
John Musila, Member of Parliament representing Bubulo East constituency in Namisindwa district has backed Walimbwa’ idea saying it is the only way of improving the number of teachers in secondary schools in Namisindwa and Uganda at large.
“I urge the school head teachers to hold a joint meeting with the district and pick that proposal then pass it in the council such that the district service commission does an internal interview of teachers who are in PTA payroll and after the CAO sends names to the Ministry of public service for access into government payroll,’’ Mr. Musila said.
John Patrick Niwagaba, the Namisindwa district chief administrative officer has described the understaffing as a general problem in Namisindwa local government.
He adds that according to the law, its Ministry of public services that is mandated to recruit secondary teachers, head teachers, and other staff but not district local government.
‘’Currently, I have submitted the request to the ministry of Finance requesting to increase the wage such that they can increase on staffing at Namisindwa district local government,’’ Mr . Neauwibaga said.
He refuted claims that government is doing nothing to increase the number of teachers at secondary schools saying that in Namisindwa they have submitted the request and waiting for the Ministry of Education to give a response.
According to the ministry of Education and sports, over the last decade, Pupil-Teacher Ratio (PTR) has improved and is currently 15:1 for Primary schools, 12:1 for Secondary schools, and 11:1 for Junior Colleges.