KAGADI – The Kagadi District Inspector of Schools, Mr. Julius Alinda has ordered all primary school headteachers to buy smartphones to reduce ignorance.
He reasoned that the smartphones would also minimize transport costs incurred while trekking to the district headquarters to access information and pick relevant documents.
He made the directive early this week while meeting private and government-aided school Headteachers at Kagadi Model Primary school in Kagadi district.
Alinda further noted that there is ignorance among Headteachers due to lack of smartphones as much information is passed on social media without being accessed.
He said, “It is absurd for headteachers to be surpassed by globalization and lag behind the existing advanced technology”.
He said the directive will be made mandatory and as a policy in a way that Headteachers without smartphones will not be allowed into future meetings.
The Kagadi District Education Officer, Mr. Bartholomew Bukenya, concurred with the Inspector of schools and said he will support the idea and policy.
Mr. Bukenya was however unhappy over misuse of smartphones by some young teachers who instead of delivering their lessons in class, keep on chatting with their friends and sending WhatsApp messages to different people.
However, the move caused mix feelings among the headteachers, some expressed reservations over the enforcement as some welcomed the idea while others opposed it.
Some Headteachers said indeed they were behind in terms of accessing information on social media platforms and internet.
The Head Teacher at Ihura primary school, Ms Harriet Nakazibwe said, ‘‘whereas it is a good idea, smartphones are very expensive compared to the basic necessities of headteachers like education of children, health, accommodation and professional growth’’.
Ms. Ritah Asiimwe, a Deputy Headteacher at Ihura Primary School concurred with the Inspector’s idea although she also never supported the use of force to buy them.
In Uganda, smartphones that can easily access internet and social media platforms can go at between Shs 190,000 to Shs 550,000.
Meanwhile over 10 primary school teachers in Kagadi District have been put on red notice of facing expulsion over alleged chronic alcoholism and absenteeism.
The Kagadi District Education Officer, Mr Bukenya said the embattled teachers include some headteachers who have continued to engage in their private businesses at the expense of the education of children. He further noted that they were warned several times but failed to reform.
Bukenya explained ‘‘alcohol-addicted teachers have been interdicted and are to face awards and sanctions committee for disciplinary action’’.
When contacted Mr Sunday Eden, a teacher in the neighbouring Kakumiro district said a government teacher now earns Shs 415, 000 as salary minus the taxes. He said a rural teacher needs about three months to save to buy a smartphone since there are hardships of upkeep like distance to school