PAKWACH. The headteachers in Pakwach district have come out to complain of the irregularities on payroll, saying it is the main reason most teachers are demoralized in the district.
Speaking during a meeting at Pakwach district headquarters on Wednesday, several headteachers of primary and secondary schools noted that cases of teachers’ names disappearing from payroll have of late, become rampant.
They said the situation has forced teachers to go for many months without salary thus affecting teaching and performance in the district.
The headteachers were meeting district officials at Pakwach town council hall with the aim of finding a solution to the poor academic performance in the district and device means of how each sub-county can produce many learners in first grade in national examinations.
But during the meeting, Mr Francis Ondia, the headteacher of Ayabu primary school in Wadelai sub-county said teachers whose names disappear from the payroll normally stop teaching and resort to doing other things to earn a living.
He said, as a result, syllabus completion has been a change every year.
"If teachers have been going for months without pay, how do you expect them to teach on an empty stomach for pupils to excel?" Ondia wondered.
Ms. Neria Chandiga, the headmistress of Pakwach secondary school said some teachers are being underpaid, a reason many have opted to teach in multiple schools.
"The underpayment of staff is forcing many teachers especially in secondary schools to teach in more than three schools and this affects their performance. Let the government sort out this problem so that teachers can concentrate," she said.
Mr Paul Opige, the Pakwach district education officer suggested that if the government could promote regular education tours, staff educational capacity building and implementation of school feeding programs in schools, performance would improve in most government schools.
However, some headteachers later blamed the office of the chief administrative officer (CAO) for not doing enough in addressing their plight, adding that they have on several occasions been turned down by the office of the personnel officer.
In her response, Ms. Stella Abeyto, the Pakwach district CAO attributed the mess on the payroll to teachers’ names which she said don’t correspond with those on the national identity cards.
She appealed to such teachers to consider verifying their names with the office of the national identification and registration authority (NIRA) so that they can be reinstated on the payroll.
Abeyto said currently, plans are underway to recruit 300 teachers to fill the glaring staff gap that existed for long due to lack of funds.
The headteachers also proposed that teachers who are known drunkards should be transferred to urban centres than staying in rural schools for easy monitoring.
In the recently released primary leaving examinations (PLE) Pakwach district produced 46 pupils in division one in PLE and only 5 in Uganda certificate of education.