Following complaints by teachers of systematic delays in the certification of their academic transcripts, the Ministry of Education and Sports has moved to streamline the entire exercise.
At a media briefing that was held at their headquarters on Embassy house in Kampala, Mr. Alex Kakooza the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Education announced new mechanisms; which included, postponement of the registration exercise to the end of this year and deploying additional personnel on the ground.
In turn, he says this snail pace handling of business has forced teachers some from upcountry destinations to stay linger around longer as they wait to be completely sorted.
As such the ministry has moved to add more boots on the ground, from the initial three master’s level certification officers to eight, not only to reduce overcrowding but also to increase efficiency.
Apparently, Kakooza says Kyambogo University which is legally gazetted to handle this process is overstretched alluding to the fact that on a daily basis it receives close to 600 teachers yet it has been having only three officers.
Highlighting the same issue, Jerome Butamanya, the Senior Assistant Registrar at Kyambogo University tagged these delays to the bulky paper work involved.
“We have cases where someone may delay because of the number of academic documents. Some are grade three, five and degree holders and yet all these documents have to be verified. Such a person might take a little longer time than someone who has just a degree,” Butamanya explains.
It should be noted that on the 19th of September last year, the ministry launched this compulsory verification exercise dubbed “Teacher Management Information System” (TMIS) as one way of addressing systematic flaws.
Speaking today, Kakooza spoke positively of this programme which he said will go a long way in curbing forgeries and issues to do with ‘ghost teachers.’
“The main purpose of this was to get a list of all the teachers of this country which would help us weed out those who don’t qualify to be teachers because as you are aware we have people who have forged documents. More so, we also wanted to weed out ghosts because we have people who claim to be teachers who are teaching yet they are not,” he explains.
Asked if they have recorded any instances of forgery, Kakooza appeared cagey. However he said, culprits of such acts will be prosecuted according to laws of the land.
In addition, Kakooza said that this process will create synergies with other crucial government bodies such as the education service commission, a development he said will enable them to ascertain the number of teachers in active service and vice versa.
“Possibly the other reason for this, is to link our system to the public service system and that one of the education service system. This so because, when the public or education service are recruiting they will ably know that the person they are recruiting is actually a teacher who is locally registered with the ministry and therefore qualifies,” he adds on.
On the issue of decentralizing this process, Kakooza says this would not only be expensive but also cumbersome bearing in mind that this would require photocopying Kyambogo’s entire data repository for transfer to regional centers, a thing that is not tenable.