School Management Committees On the Spot Over Inefficiency

6117 Views Ntoroko, Uganda

In short
Henry Bagonza, a parent says that committee members are incompetent, illiterate and have no idea about school management.

School Management Committees-SMCs in Ntoroko district are on the spot for alleged inefficiency, which has affected management of primary schools. SMCs are legitimate bodies provided for in the Education Act.  The SMCs are comprised of 15 members, four of whom are appointed by the education committee of the area where the school is located, two elected by the parents and three appointed by the district education office.

 The committees act as the educational policy-making bodies for the schools, and work together with head teachers to provide educational programmes and services that ensure quality teaching and learning. However in some of the schools, the SMCs are non-extent and inefficient. This is blamed for increased teacher teacher and pupil absenteeism and poor management of schools leading to a decline in educational standards.

In Karugutu Primary School, Francis Baguma, the head teacher says that the SMC was disbanded and no replacements made. He says the past committee members used to frequently visit the school and interact with teachers and the pupils but when it was disbanded, teachers started absconding from duty. Baguma says 10 out of the 20 teachers at the school are often absent.

//Cue in: ‘much of the time…”//
Cue out: “…absenteeism is much higher.”//

Henry Bagonza, a parent says that committee members are incompetent, illiterate and have no idea about school management. He says appointments to the committee should be determined by education qualifications to make them relevant. However Charles Birungi, a member of Karugutu Primary School SMC blames school administrators for frustrating their work.  
 
Birungi says that head teachers fails to give the SMC any accountability for the funds allocated to the schools. He says that if the SMC are to be active, there is need to iron out the misunderstandings between the head teachers and the SMCs.

//Cue in: “we are being frustrated…
Cue out: “…issues ironed out.”//

Steven Magezi, the Ntoroko district education officer, says that out of the 18 primary schools in the district only three have functional SMCs. Magezi says that they are planning on how to make the committees more effective. Magezi says that the committees perform poorly because most of the members are ignorant about their roles.

Last year, SNV, a Dutch agency blamed the declining academic standards of Universal Primary Education largely on teacher absenteeism. According to the report, teacher absenteeism in Uganda is ranked the highest in the world at 35%, with teachers guaranteed to miss at least two days of work each week.
 
 

 

About the author

Emmanuel Kajubu
Emmanuel Kajubu is proud to have been the first Ugandan journalist to write in depth pieces about the Tooro Kingdom institution. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Tooro Kingdom is what made him privy to the splits in the royal family. These splits almost challenged Tooro Omukama Oyo Nyimba Iguru's reign.

Culture, agriculture and the environment are just two areas of many of interest to Kajubu. As long as he has held a pen, Kajubu has also written about public policy, health and crime.

Kajubu is keen on impacting his society not just as a writer but also a trainer and mentor. Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts fall under his docket. Kajubu has been a URN staff member since 2008.