Hardship Allowance Changing Education In Kitgum

1712 Views Kitgum, Uganda

In short
Five years later, the initiative has begun to positively touch and change education in Kitgum district. Matthias Ager Kisembo, the head teacher of Kitgum Matidi Primary school, says the move has completely eliminated absenteeism and laziness among his staff.

The modest hardship allowance paid to teachers living and working in remote areas of the country is slowly paying dividends in Kitgum district. 

The special motivational incentive was introduced in 2011 as a measure to eliminate rampant resignation of teachers serving in such areas. The other objective was to attract and retain more teachers in areas serviced by inadequate social amenities including Karamoja.

Five years later, the initiative has begun to positively touch and change education in Kitgum district. Matthias Ager Kisembo, the head teacher of Kitgum Matidi Primary school, says the move has completely eliminated absenteeism and laziness among his staff.

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Kisembo says the allowance has enhanced syllabus coverage through remedial lessons which were nonexistent before the hardship allowance. Calculated at 30 percent of the monthly pay, the rate varies from teacher to teacher as Kisembo explains. 

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Teachers in Labilo Primary school in Lagoro Sub County are not so fortunate to stay at school for lack of accommodation. But John Oyat, the school deputy head teacher says the hardship allowance has given his teachers strong motivation to report for duty every day. 

He says the major challenge is when teachers wait for long to be confirmed for them to start benefiting.

Joseph Lomongin, the chief administrative officer of Kitgum district, says government has been very consistent in paying the hardship allowance since it was introduced five years ago.

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Another important milestone complementing the hardship allowance is the construction of staff houses, installed with solar power. Lomongin, says the initiatives are testimony to the fact that removing a giant mountain begins with carrying away smaller stones a piece at a time. 

 

About the author

Peter Labeja
Peter Labeja has been a practicing journalist for the last 13 years during which he has covered part of the brutal conflict which bedeviled Northern Uganda as well as the painful transition to Peace thereafter. Emerging post conflict issues such as land rights of under privileged widows and orphans, challenges of access to social services in the immediate aftermath of Lord’s Resistance Army conflict in Northern Uganda.

Labeja is now the Northern Uganda Bureau chief in Acholi Sub Region since 2014 - Gulu, Amuru, Nwoya and Omoro districts as well as South Sudan falls within his areas of jurisdiction. He previously worked with The Vision Group for four years.

Labeja’s major career interests are in Climate Change; Agriculture and Environment - natural resources such as Water, Oil and Gas; Transitional Justice; Human Rights, Democracy and Governance as well as South Sudan’s humanitarian crisis. In 2013, Labeja was awarded a prestigious Pan African Journalism Award for excellence in journalism at United Nation’s UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya for Climate Change and Health Reporting.