A crisis is unfolding in Busia district as a significant number of secondary school teachers face severe financial hardship, unable to make their way home for the holidays due to unpaid salaries since October.
Among them is Jimmy Omviti, a teacher at Sukalikha Senior Secondary School, who laments the struggle to afford transportation to his upcountry home in the Arua district.
”I was supposed to be with my family in Arua by now, but lack of payment has left me stranded,” says Jimmy Omviti.
Donald Oluk and Emmanuel Ouma, fellow teachers in the district, share Omviti’s plight, highlighting the widespread nature of the issue.
”This isn’t the first time we’ve faced salary delays; it happened last year too,” adds Jimmy Omviti.
The district’s political leaders offer mixed reactions, with some claiming the matter requires investigation beyond the district’s scope, while others attribute the problem to a staffing gap.
”The delayed salaries issue needs thorough investigation; it might be beyond the district’s control,” says Stephen Wasike, District Chairperson.
However, Stephen Mayende, a District Councilor, points to internal staffing challenges as a possible cause.
”The district staffing gap could be contributing to these delays,” suggests Stephen Mayende.
Efforts to seek clarification from the District Chief Administrative Officer were unsuccessful, as the official declined to comment.
Nevertheless, the Office of the Resident District Commissioner attributes the problem to a reduction in funds received by the district.
”We acknowledge the salary issue, and it’s linked to a cut in funds allocated to the district,” states Michael Kibwika, Busia Resident District Commissioner.
With over three-quarters of secondary school teachers affected the Resident District Commissioner assures the community that measures are being taken to expedite salary payments.
”We are doing everything possible to address this problem and ensure teachers receive their long-overdue salaries,” reassures Michael Kibwika.
Out of a total of 260 government secondary teachers in Busia district, a staggering 216 have not received their salaries since October, leaving many educators grappling with financial uncertainty during the festive season.
The district now faces scrutiny over the recurring issue, raising concerns about the financial management affecting the livelihoods of its dedicated teaching workforce.
Source link : https://allafrica.com/stories/202312110603.html
Publish date : 2023-12-11 18:16:25