By Eddie Ssejjoba
The Ministry of Education and Eports is planning to conduct a nationwide physical headcount of teachers in Universal Primary and Secondary education as well as tertiary institutions to eliminate ghosts on the payroll and establish their actual numbers.
The Permanent Secretary, Dr. Rose Nassali said that although physical counting of teachers at schools would be cumbersome since many are regularly transferred and others drop out, it would be the only way to minimize government spending on non-existent workers.
Nassali was Tuesday involved in the nationwide head count of students in the Universal Secondary Education at Kololo High School.
She was later joined by Dr. Yusuf Nsubuga, the director for basic and secondary education who was also moving to different schools to ascertain that the exercise was being conducted successfully.
“We conduct this exercise one every year in the first term after ascertaining that all students have reported to school but we also record absentees if their classmates can assure our officials that they know them and we can get records of their existence in a particular class,” Dr. Nassali told New Vision.
She said the exercise is vital for planning purposes because government can establish the actual enrolment of students on whom to spend and it helps to eliminate ghost students.
Dr. Nsubuga stressed that the exercise helps the ministry to determine the actual resources to be allocated to individual schools like desks, learning materials and teachers, among others.
He explained that previously the ministry used to get too many ghost students because of untrusted headteachers who used to submit inflated numbers for their own benefit.
“This exercise helps us avoid wastage of resources and paying for non-existent students,” he explained.
He, however, admitted that the sh41, 000 that government sends for each student per term was still too little given the inflation rate in the last six years since it was set.
He appealed to schools to be more innovative, improvise and be creative to spend the money within the current little budget.