Lawmakers have demanded that teachers recently recruited by the education ministry are deployed in schools across the country to enable learners access tutelage.
Hon. Paska Aciro (Indp., District Woman Representative, Pader) raised the matter during the plenary sitting on Wednesday, 11 October 2023.
She revealed that a senior education official had notified her during the recent Teachers’ Day celebration that some of the teachers recruited in July this year have not yet been deployed.
“As we remember the theme was about the education we need for our children. I believe that our children are not given access to education because the teachers are not deployed,” she said.
The Minister of State for Education and Sports (Primary Education), Dr Joyce Moriku, blamed the shortage of teachers in schools across the country on budget shortfalls.
She said that the budget for deployment was Shs50 billion but the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development released only Shs32 billion, leaving a shortfall of Shs18 billion.
“Last financial year, my ministry recruited over 5,000 staff out of which, over 3,000 were teaching staff. More than half were deployed and close to 2,000 teaching and non-teaching staff have not yet been not been deployed,” Moriku said.
She added: “As I speak, the current finances we have cannot deploy all the teaching and non-teaching staff we have recruited. The finance ministry should assure us that my ministry should be able to receive these funds so that we deploy all our teachers.”
Hon. Felix Okot Ogong (NRM, Dokolo South County), said that three schools in his constituency, including Kwera, Kangai and St. John Secondary School are facing the same challenges.
“Students are very concerned about their future. They are paying school fees, but they do not have teachers. This will affect their future, the future of the country,” he said.
The Minister of State for Finance, Planning and Economic Development (General Duties) Hon. Henry Musasizi, asked for more time to harmonise with the education ministry.
“We can release what was appropriated but I request that we are given time to harmonise before I make a statement,” said Musasizi.
Hon. Enos Asiimwe (NRM, Kabula County) called for a comprehensive statement on the status of the education sector.
“We all have the same challenges. May I suggest that the minister presents a statement so that we can all bring out all our problems,” he said.
Kampala Central Division Member of Parliament, Hon. Muhammad Nsereko, asked the ministers to clearly state areas which have shortfalls so that these can be addressed during appropriation.
“Our young generation can only be guaranteed a secure future if they are well educated. Parents are paying fees for zero service, that means that is proper abuse of office, Nsereko said.
Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa directed the two ministers to hold an inter-ministerial meeting and update the House on Wednesday, 18 October 2023.