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Prof Bukenya’s Suggestion Is Simplistic

By Vision Reporter

Added 11th May 2003 03:00 AM

SIR — I would like to comment on the article “houses will lure teachers” which you published on Friday.

SIR — I would like to comment on the article “houses will lure teachers” which you published on Friday.
The minister for the presidency Prof Gilbert Bukenya, overlooked important factors that can lure good teachers to rural schools. First, the government is only interested in building new classrooms without considering the salaries of teachers or their own accommodation. A teacher, however well qualified, will be attracted where he is sure that at the end of the day, he will have something meaningful to take home. teachers are no longer willing to stick to a profession which yields peanuts every month. Even these peanuts do not come in time. By the time they arrive, they do nothing but settle a tiny fraction of accumulated debts! Teachers will not be amused to teach from good classrooms and then live in shacks. Many teachers I know live in staff houses which have no latrines! This kind of scenario will only attract fools to rural schools. Let the government take the responsibility to build teachers houses and provide power if possible.
Secondly, parents in rural uganda are very poor. There is no way they can raise enough money to buy bricks in order to construct teachers’ houses. They can’t make the bricks themselves because they are malnourished! What they call money is just coins to buy essentials like salt and and soap and maybe an evening drink of waragi, kwete or tonto. the Ministry of education and sports is to blame for the extremely poor performance. The recent transfers were carried out without proper consultation with all the stakeholders. For example, to transfer a teacher from soroti to a Gulu rural school where Kony is operating is like terminating the teacher’s service. This teacher will never accept the transfer however beautiful the classrooms may be. He will certainly still have bitter memories of the Teso insurgency in the early ‘80s. It may be necessary for the ministry to employ a consultancy firm to advise them how best they can improve academic standards in rural schools. These factors, if ignored, will continue to play a very negative role in our educational system. Our labour force will also be affected. For too long, teachers in this country have been treated like third rate citizens and yet their contribution in national development is invaluable.

Joseph A. Koluo

Prof Bukenya’s Suggestion Is Simplistic

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