By John Agaba and Aisha Naiga
The disparity between private and public schools continues to widen, with the latter’s performance deteriorating every year, something education experts have blamed on the government’s rigid policy of staff ceilings.
At a teachers stakeholders meeting at Hotel Triangle in Kampala Thursday, education experts said you cannot today compare public schools with private schools in terms of performance because the government has stack to a ceiling policy and not availed adequate teachers appropriate for public schools to also excel.
Frederick Kiyingi, the Wakiso district education officer, said this was a serious challenge eating at the performance of public schools that needed urgent intervention.
“Private schools are excelling. But there is no performance in public schools. Yet these teachers graduate from the same colleges. What is the problem? A private school of about 300 pupils has more than 20 teachers, while a public school with the same number of pupils has just about eight teachers. And the government can’t allocate more teachers to this school because that’s its ceiling capacity,” Kiyingi said.
“Unless government sits down and revises this issue of staff ceilings, public schools will struggle to keep up,” Kiyingi added.
Ernest Baraibusya, the Rukungiri district education officer said: “you find a school has close to 1000 pupils, but has only 11 teachers on the payroll. Parents have to solicit for funds to hire an extra two or three teachers to compliment these ones.”
The meeting that was organized by the Uganda National Teachers Union and discussing interventions the sector can employ to improve teacher competencies in the country, requested government to be flexible and lift the issue of staff ceiling to improve performance in public schools.
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