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Outrage as sub-county chairman sacks two teachers over drunkenness

Two teachers in Kitgum have been dismissed over drunkenness. (PHOTO/File)

KITGUM – The Uganda National Teachers Union (UNATU) has reacted with consternation to reports that a sub-county chairperson has dismissed two teachers over drunkenness.

Mr Bosco Cankula Ongom, the chairperson for Lagoro Sub County in Kitgum District, dismissed Mr Albert Canokema, and Mr Bosco Odera, both teachers of Balakwar Primary School for reporting to school while drunk during teaching hours, being indecently dressed and for persistent absenteeism.

In his letter dated 6th August, 2019 to the school headteacher and copied to the CAO Kitgum, RDC Kitgum, DEO and Sub County Chief, Chairperson SMC/PTA, Mr Ongom said they could no longer tolerate the two teachers.

However, UNATU leaders in Kitgum District have condemned the chairperson’s action of dismissing the teachers, arguing that he has no authority to do so.

The UNATU chairperson, Mr Jackson Pacoto, said Mr Ongom conducted himself unprofessionally.

“Teachers are civil servants and in case of any misconduct, he should have sought help from the office of the Chief Administrative Officer or the District Education Officer. There is no law which permits the sub county chairperson to dismiss a civil servant from his duty and it is only the CAO who is the accounting officer to suspend, dismiss or interdict a civil servant from duty in case he/she acts unprofessionally,’’ he said.

The District Education Officer, Mr Fred Owot, says he is yet to receive a formal communication from the sub-county chairperson over the matter.

“If it’s true, then it’s very wrong for the chairperson of the sub county to dismiss a civil servant. There are procedures and guidelines to be followed before any action is taken,’’ he said

The Education Service Act/ Teachers Professional Code of Conduct part IV (a), states that no teacher shall conduct himself/ herself in a manner which may bring the profession into disrepute,

Section K states that no teacher shall teach under the influence of alcohol or shall come to school while intoxicated.

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