Six Head Teachers Sacked in Crackdown on Declining Education Standards

1416 Views Arua, Uganda
Six primary school head teachers in Arua have lost their jobs for indiscipline. 10 other head teachers are due to face disciplinary action for charges like absenteeism, drinking alcohol on the job, mismanagement of Universal Primary Education funds and even conducting sports classes in the morning. The sacked teachers are from Abiki Primary School in Ajia sub-county, Anava Primary School in Arivu sub-county, Offaka Primary School and Anyiribu Primary School. Announcing their dismissal this morning, Nicholas Tembo the Arua District Education Officer, said the head teachers had all been warned to improve their conduct, but had refused to reform. He said they each received three warnings and so when no corrective measures were taken, they were sacked. Tembo said the dismissals were necessary to deal with the falling education standards in Arua. Last year Arua district only got 22 first grades in the Primary Leaving Examinations. Performance was equally dismal in the O- and A-level exams. Tembo said the poor performance can be attributed to the consistent absenteeism of teachers. He said that many teachers turn up to work very late, they leave very early and rarely complete the curriculum. He accused the head teachers of failing to stop this behavior because their performance is not any better. //Cue in: iAny sensible head teacher #i Cue out: i# only two hours.i// Stanley Dradria, one of the sacked head teachers, said his dismissal was illegal and he will sue the district for his sacking. He said he was never warned about his behavior and was surprised when during a routine visit to the District Education Office, he was handed a letter terminating his services. Phillip Andama, the Uganda National Teachers Union chairperson for Arua municipal council, expressed concern over the dismissal. He said the union will support any legal action because the head teachers were not given a chance to defend themselves and the basis for their sacking is suspect.