When Emmanuel Mukasa, the former head teacher of Old Kampala SS, was transferred to Entebbe Comprehensive SS, during the routine transfers by the ministry of Education, he simply refused to move.
The ministry of Education had replaced him with Aziida Ntegana, who had previously served as his deputy head teacher at Old Kampala SS. Rather than move, Mukasa petitioned the Inspectorate of Government, citing conflict of interest in his transfer.
Ntegana is a wife to Dr Yusuf Nsubuga, the ministry’s director of Basic and Secondary Education, who had directed Mukasa to hand over the office. Mukasa, also an old student of Old Kampala SS, had once served as deputy head teacher in the same school during the 1990s.
However, such situations are not unusual with teachers who are asked to move to other schools. Some head teachers plead with parents or students to ask the relevant officials to reinstate them.
But the ministry won’t hear any of this. It is determined that when the head teacher or the deputy is transferred, they are supposed to move. To make matters worse, when these teachers are appointed, they sign an appointment letter, accepting to move wherever they are asked to, as a condition of their appointment.
The penalty for refusing to move is withdrawal from the payroll. Thus from April 20 to 24, 2015 the Education Service Commission (ESC) will embark on a validation exercise, aimed at identifying which teachers have accepted transfers. Head teachers like Mukasa, who are yet to report to their new stations will subsequently be found out and struck off the payroll, if their appeals against transfer fail.
According to Dr John Geoffrey Mbabazi, the ESC secretary, the exercise will be carried out at the various regional centres of the commission in the country. Mbabazi said the head teachers will be availed with the list of the days they will be appearing for validation.
“We have received lists of over 900 head teachers and deputy head teaching showing the schools they were transferred to. We shall be looking at them physically but also cross check with our records to see if they appear on the lists,” Mbabazi said.
Initially, a January 22 circular letter signed by Adah K Muwanga, the permanent secretary in the ministry of public service, indicated that the ESC and district service commission would conduct the exercise by April 15. The validation covers all the post-primary government institutions. For the ESC, the communicated date was changed.
“By the time the circular came in, we had already scheduled our work,” Mbabazi said. “It is not that we do not want to do the validation there and then but we also had teachers to recruit.”
He added that the commission is well staffed and will be able to complete the process within five days. The same letter required the ministry of education and the district local governments to declare all the vacant posts of head teachers and deputies arising from the validation exercise and those presently occupied by caretakers.
The ESC is expected to present the minutes from the exercise during the first or second week of May, according to Mbabazi. He aised head teachers to take the annual transfers as normal if they intend to continue working in public service.
“If anyone has any issues, they should feel free to appeal to the permanent secretary who deploys them. But resisting by a head teacher or moving to another school is really insubordination,” Mbabazi said.
Source : The Observer