KOBOKO. Multiple borrowing by teachers from various financial institutions has become one of the biggest challenges fueling teacher absenteeism in Koboko district.

This is after authorities established that teachers who borrow from multiple financial institutions keep hiding way from the school compounds in fear of being arrested by money lenders who want to recover their money.

The concern was raised by Koboko district principle education officer, Mr Wayi Dragamulai during a press conference at the district headquarters on Tuesday.

He said absenteeism has led to low syllabus coverage especially by teachers with records of multiple loans thus resulting into poor performance in schools.

“Whenever we have sub-county meetings with teachers, we always advise them to borrow loans from their mother banks but many do not listen to our advice,” Wayi said.

Wayi added that borrowing from mother banks would help teachers not to panic in the process of recovering loans because repaying can be done directly from their monthly salaries.

He disclosed that some teachers have made themselves so desperate to the extent of surrendering their Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cards including the secrete pin codes and their National Identification cards to money lenders in the names of borrowing loans.

The district education department is currently struggling to discourage the teachers from multiple borrowings but the trend seems to be on the rise as they look for more avenues of side income.

Wayi identified other challenges facing the education performance in the district as high dropout rate, inefficient parish monitoring committees, poor teacher-pupil ratio visa vi classroom ratio as well as increment in pupil enrollment in primary schools among others.

Koboko district principal planner, Mr Fred Bada blamed parents for over producing children without budgeting and planning for them.

Bada noted that Koboko district is second to Yumbe among districts with high fertility rate in Uganda, a practice he said has made many families to live in poverty as the parents cannot effectively cater for the feeding, health and education needs of their dependents.