By Uganda Vanguard
KAMPALA – Ministry of Education and Sports has unvieled a master plan over the next one year with over 3500 secondary school teachers to be recruited among other development. “We have recruited a total of 4,520 teachers within the last 3 years. We have also advertised for an additional 3,610 positions of secondary school teachers of which 1,945 are for sciences and 1,665 for arts,” said Education and Sports Minister Janet Kataha Museveni said.
The recruitment comes after government is to increase the ministries budget by Shs1.135 trillion, First Lady Ms Kataha said Monday May 13, 2019. Adding, “Majority are science teachers.”
“In nominal terms, financing of the Education and Sports sector increased byShs65 billion in the financial year 2017/18 compared with 2016/17. Furthermore, the government has projected to increase financing of the sector in the financial year 2019/20 by Shs1.135 trillion to Shs3.286 trillion compared with the sector allocation of Shs2.15 trillion in 2016/17,” Kataha who is also the First Lady said.
She further revealed, “The process of reviewing the Early Childhood Development (ECD) Policy of 2005 is currently underway in order to strengthen regulation and supervision of this Sub-sector.”
Ms Kataha said the ministry has identified 23 primary schools for grant-aiding in the financial year 2019/20.
“Due to budgetary limitations, we have not been able to grant-aid any Primary Schools since July 2016. We still have 1,135 parishes and wards are without a public primary school as of March 2018,” she added.
Regarding accommodation, the First Lady said, “As of end financial year 2017/18, we completed construction of 103 two-bedroomed teachers’ houses in 16 districts.” Adding, “We completed construction of nine semi-detached houses each housing two teachers in nine schools in the hard-to-reach district of Bukwo using the grant. We completed construction of five semi-detached houses (each housing 2 teachers) at Shimoni Demonstration School.”
Ms Kataha further explained, “Five semi-detached houses for Tutors were constructed at Erepi, Kisoro, Ibanda, Rukungiri, and Ngora PTCs.”
Commenting on books, she said the ministry has provided primary one to primary seven textbooks for English and mathematics to all public primary schools.
“As a result, the Pupil-to-Book Ratio (PBR) has improved from 14:1 to 2:1 and 3:1 in the respective subjects. We also supplied textbooks for primary four social studies and integrated science; as such, the pupil-to-book ratio has improved 14:1 to 5:1 in these subjects.”
On the wage bill for primary school teachers, Ms Kataha said it has increased by Shs239.226 billion from Shs779.450 billion in the financial 2015/16 to Shs918.676 billion in the financial 2018/19; and is estimated to grow to Shs921.702 billion in the financial year 2019/20.
“There has been no salary enhancement for primary school teachers in the last three years because increment prior to the financial year 2016/17 put them above the pay targets in the pay policy approved by Cabinet. Currently, the entry monthly salary for a primary school head teacher is Shs588,359 whereas a grade-III teacher receives Shs469,355 per month. Before the enhancement, the average salary for a primary school teacher was Shs280,000,” she further explained.
Ms Kataha said there are 117 sub-counties without a public secondary school.
“A total of 115 new seed secondary schools shall be constructed in these sub counties starting in the 2020/21. This time round, we are building comprehensively complete secondary schools in terms of the infrastructure we are going to put up; these include six classrooms, a multi-purpose hall, staff houses for 6 teachers, an ICT laboratory, a library, and science labs. Our estimated cost for a complete school is Shs2 billion,” she added.
She added, “However, we do still have 428 sub-counties, town councils, and divisions without public secondary schools as of March 2019.”
Ms Kataha warned schools against increasing school dues.
“As a Ministry, we would like to reiterate the government’s position previously communicated to all schools and local governments directing them not to impose extra charges on pupils and students. The respective departments of the ministry together with the directorate of education standards shall continue to make regular follow-ups to ensure compliance by School managers,” she said.