Kigezi, Uganda | URN | Lack of basic computer skills by teachers is hindering the ongoing Teacher Management and Information System (TMIS) exercise in Kigezi sub-region.
The exercise was introduced by the Ministry of Education to streamline the registration of teachers and harmonize their records for better planning and management. It obligates teachers to provide their bio-data and upload their academic documents on a designated website.
However, many teachers in Kigezi sub-region have not yet registered. The shortfall is attributed to low levels of computer literacy and the absence of internet service Centers in the area. To start the process, teachers are required to travel to the national registration centre at Kyambogo University for the certification of their academic documents.
Henry Bernard Tindarwesire, a teacher at Kanyashogyi Primary School in Mpungu Sub County in Kanungu district says that online registration is burdensome because the process of travelling to and from Kyambogo is very expensive.
Tindarwesire faults the ministry for failing to provide teachers with computer skills before introducing the online registration exercise.
Peter Kaniziyo, a teacher at Bugwaza Primary School in Rubanda district says that several teachers are reluctant about the registration because they are constrained by the limited computer knowledge they possess.
Kaniziyo says that even teachers who have already had their documents certified in Kyambogo are still struggling because there is no internet service centre in Rubanda district. According to Kaniziyo, they have to travel to Kabale, a distance of close to 35 kilometres, for the nearest internet café.
Medard Turamyomwe, the head teacher of Nyamweru Secondary School in Rubanda district says that internet cafes in Kabale have now taken advantage of the situation to exploit teachers. They are charging between 20,000-40,000 Shillings from each teacher, to help them with the process.
Alfred Katureebe, the chairperson of the Uganda National Teachers Union (UNATU) in Kabale expresses worry that the exercise is likely to negatively affect learners’ academic performance because teachers are always on the move, as they rush to beat the registration deadline.
Dr Kedrace Turyagyenda, the Director of Education Standards in the Ministry of Education and Sports says that this is the time for teachers to enhance their computer skills and catch up with the current information technology century.