The Education and Sports Ministry is set to hire 22,000 primary school teachers in the 2019/2020 financial year.
This follows the lifting of a ban on teachers recruitment by the Finance Ministry.
Last year, the Finance Ministry blocked attempts by Ministry Education and Sports to recruit a similar number of teachers, saying there was no money.
However, Dr Tony Mukasa Lusambu, the Commissioner Primary Education, says the Finance Ministry has lifted the ban, adding that they intend to hire 22,000 teachers in different phases starting the 2019/2020 financial year.
“The target is 22,000 teachers for primary schools but we can’t recruit all of them at once due to budgetary constraints. Ministry of Finance has allowed us to recruit in phases; first phase 6,000 teachers, second phase also 6,000 third phase 5,000 and the last phase 5,000. The first phase has been catered for in the current budget,” he says.
Dr Lusambu says the move comes at a time when many schools are operating with a limited number of teachers. There are over 13,000 government funded primary schools in the country. Dr Lusambu says the recruitment of new teachers will reduce the burden teachers are shouldering.
“You see there’s an allocation formula for teachers per school so that formula must be used. When you use that formula currently, you find that some schools cannot have sufficient number of teachers. That formula helps us to consider both the big and small schools. If a school has 370 pupils, it qualifies for seven teachers but some schools cannot get the seven teachers. That’s why we need more teachers to cover the gap,” he adds.
Schools with 1,000 pupils will get an additional 11 teachers on top of what they already had. The ideal teacher-pupils ratio is one teacher to 53 pupils. But in most schools, this ratio is ignored as some teachers attend to three times the number of pupils that they ought to teach.
The proposed recruitment of teachers comes at a time when teachers under Uganda National Teacher’s Union (UNATU) are threatening to strike over salary enhancement. The teachers want government to increase their salaries as promised in 2014. They want a grade III teacher to earn at least Shillings 1.5 million.