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Kumi battles teaching gap of 400 teachers

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Kumi district is struggling to deliver education services with a teaching gap of over 400 primary school teachers. The district with 75 government aided primary schools has an average of 1:100 teacher- pupil ratio.

Some teachers struggle to teach over 300 pupils in a single class, making learning very difficult in the district. Kumi has 764 teachers against an enrollment of 67,300 pupils as per this year’s records.

Sarah Adongo, the Kumi district inspector of schools, says the district has not been able to recruit new teachers since the ban on recruitment was announced in 2012 except in cases of death and retirement of serving staff.

She explains that the learning process has been challenging in the district since the existing staff are overworked and exhausted. Adongo notes that much as they are trying to encourage parents through Parents Teacher’s Associations-PTA to contribute money for recruitment of additional teachers, a good number doesn’t cooperate.

Lack of teachers has forced Ongino sub county council to pass a By- Law requiring every parent to contribute shillings 5,000 every term to help hire additional teachers. The trend seems to be taking shape in all sub counties in the district to improve on education performance.

Christine Apolot, the Kumi district chairperson, says the situation has greatly affected learning and education in general in the primary section.  She observes that the situation needs urgent attention by central government in lifting a ban on recruitment.

In February this year, government announced the move to recruit 22,000 teachers across the country in phases. However, the move is yet to take effect in different districts in Uganda.

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