Teacher recruitment, deployment and retention in Uganda's Secondary schools
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Prompted by inequitable distribution of teachers in Secondary Schools, this study focused on an analysis of the process for recruiting, deployment and retention of Secondary School teachers in Uganda. The study relied on cross-sectional survey design and used descriptive statistics in which both qualitative and quantitative methods were used to collect data. Data was collected from six districts selected from Northwestern, Eastern, South western and Central regions of Uganda. The districts were Arua, Iganga, Kampala Masaka, Mbale and Mbarara. The respondents included teachers, Headteachers, officials from the Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES), Minstry of Public Service (MoPS), Education Service Commission (ESC) and District Education Officers. Findings showed that although the structure governing recruitment, deployment and retention are in place, there remains a problem: the teaching jobs for Secondary School teachers are rarely advertised, the recruitment policy was not documented and there was no regular schedule regarding teacher recruitment. As a result, many people felt that there was no merit in recruitment. Secondly, findings showed lack of clear criteria for deployment of teachers. Teachers were dissatisfied with deployment practices and deployment as it was marred with nepotism. Thirdly retention remains a problem because of unsatisfactory working environment, unclear reward system and pay. Teachers were not aware of the upgrading policy. In conclusion, although there are policies on recruitment, deployment and retention, these are hardly used. This in turn has caused mistrust in the processes of recruitment and deployment. The study recommends that the MoES and ESC should initiate recruitment schedule for teachers as well as hiring a reputable organization to streamline the recruitment process in Uganda. In addition, the MoES should control the training of teachers and apply the market system of teacher deployment by letting teachers apply for posts in specific schools rather than posting them. The MoES and ESC should ensure that there is a regular schedule for transfers of teachers. The MoES and school administrators should initiate a vote in the staff development budget scheme for contractural sponsoring for upgrading of teachers. Alternatively, the MoES should support extension of soft loans to willing teachers specifically for professional upgrading. The MoES and School Administrators should improve on the working conditions of teachers as well as raising salaries.
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