The Education Service Commission is contemplating a policy change that would enable teachers to seek deployments in duty stations of their choice, with the aim of enhancing their efficiency.
Reverend Professor Samuel Luboga, the Chairperson of the Education Service Commission, revealed that the commission is considering adjustments to its deployment mechanism to give teachers the opportunity to select the schools where they can best serve.
In an interview with our reporter during the 101st-anniversary celebrations of St. Henry’s College Kitovu in Masaka city, Professor Luboga explained that this move is in response to the chronic issue of teachers’ absenteeism in many government schools, which has a detrimental impact on learning and compromises the quality of education.
He explains that performance appraisals conducted by the commission show that random recruitment and deployment of teachers outside their preferred geographical areas affects their performance, leading to absenteeism and compromising the quality of education.
Under the proposed policy, teachers will soon be allowed to express their interest in schools of their choice based on available vacancies. However, once deployed, they will not be permitted to seek a transfer for at least three years.
Professor Luboga stated that consultations with various stakeholders have been carried out, and implementation of the policy is expected to commence after the ongoing staff validation exercise is completed.
Professor Luboga expressed optimism that the policy, once implemented, will also address the recurring issue of teachers deployed in hard-to-reach areas who fail to fulfill their duties due to transportation challenges.
Benon Musinguzi, Deputy Head Teacher of Kaikolongo Seed Secondary School in Malongo sub-county, Lwengo district, welcomed the policy, emphasizing that it is long overdue. He noted that schools have suffered from the inefficiency of teachers who do not stay at their designated workstations.
According to Musinguzi, allowing teachers to choose their deployment stations will enable schools to have staff who are native to the respective geographical areas, making supervision easier for management committees and boards of governors.
It is worth mentioning that the Education Service Commission’s policy consideration comes amid ongoing demands for the decentralization of the secondary school teacher recruitment process in government schools as another measure to improve efficiency.