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Gov’t suspends transfer of teachers in public secondary schools

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The ministry of education has decided to halt any transfers of secondary school teachers in all public learning institutions across the country. The ban is effective this month pending for the review of the system when schools reopen.

The ministry says the ban is intended to first streamline some of the gaps that have been identified by some affected parties through a validation process .

The education ministry cites gaps like some teachers being transferred and not reporting to the new stations, delays of getting on the payroll, failure to replace some of the transferred teachers, overstaying in a place for more than seven years and others staying for a shorter time less than the recommended period of three years.

According to the ministry, a validation exercise is going to be conducted by the education service commission immediately after schools reopen.

Dr. Dennis Mugimba, the education ministry spokesperson says that the minister of education and sports Janet Kataha Museveni has instructed the authorities in the ministry responsible for the process to stop transfers with immediate effect and allow the education service commission to proceed with the verification exercise as soon as schools reopen.

Transfers are mandatory to all public servants to ensure that people do not overstay in a given place before they are transferred, usually three years, though many even stay for more than ten years and some less than the recommended three years.

Mugimba says the education service commission is expected to follow up on issues of number of contracted teachers in a given public school, whether the teachers transferred are the ones on the payroll, and find out how many of these teachers have been in the schools among other issues.

Meanwhile, the permanent secretary for the education service commission, Dr. Asuman Lukwago says that as government prepares for the reopening of schools, it is important to have a head count given the Covid-19 situation in the country to capture the number of teachers in public secondary schools as some have decided to abandon the profession despite government paying them throughout the year.

Filbert Baguma, the General Secretary of Uganda National Teachers’ Union (UNATU) observes that the exercise has both positive and negative implications to the sector noting that the ministry should have adopted addressing the gaps within an active system than imposing a ban.

He says there are some circumstances where some teachers might find it difficult to stay in a given environment and holding them there may result in more dangerous situations hence calling for flexibility.

Baguma goes ahead to add that the exercise will be helping to take stock of the teachers who have managed to come back and also get to inform the replacement numbers for those who may fail to report back when schools reopen.

“I cannot say this is a bad step but it calls for flexibility in order to cater for the teachers who may find it difficult to stay in a certain working environment due to several reasons that may require immediate transfer and may include among others issues health and personal security,” says Baguma.

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