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Nebbi Teachers Dodge Classes Over Multiple Loans

Several primary school teachers in Nebbi District are dodging afternoon classes for fear of being arrested for alleged failure to service loans obtained from money lenders.

According to education authorities in the district, most of the affected teachers borrowed between two to three loans from money lenders, microfinance institutions, Savings and Credits Cooperative Societies (SACCOS), as well as commercial banks and have failed to repay.

Cosmic Wumula, a teacher explains that the situation has been made worse by the high number of mushrooming financial institutions within the district who lure teachers to borrow from them at high interest rates.

According to Consolate Among, a teacher at Nebbi Town Secondary School blames the problem on the current economic hardships coupled with the rising cost of living in the country.

Some head teachers told Uganda Radio Network that the affected teachers now prefer teaching early morning lessons and vanish from the school compound before the loan officers arrive. Lauretta Orochi, the vice chairperson of Uganda National Teachers Union (UNATU) Nebbi Main Branch attributes the unbecoming culture to the failure of the government to prioritize the welfare of teachers.

She notes that the teachers are forced to obtain multiple loans in order to provide for the basic necessities of their families because of their meager earnings.

Raymond Ocokuru, a human resource officer at the district, says that although civil servants can’t be stopped from borrowing loans they should take loans within their means. He cautioned the teachers against borrowing loans to fund non-basic needs like organizing weddings and traditional marriage ceremonies.

Nebbi district, which was created in 1980 has 137 primary schools and 17 Secondary Schools being served by1,600 teachers, according to records from the education department.

-URN

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