GiveDirectly, an international Non-Government Organisation, which is spearheading a cash transfer programme to private school teachers has eliminated data clerks from the process as registration of beneficiaries starts.
Lucy Abulo, the Senior Manager in charge of talent and external relations at GiveDirectly, says that after reviewing the government’s cash transfer programme which was initiated last year, they have realized that data clerks at different stages were responsible for several irregularities.
The 2021 June-September government cash transfer programme commonly referred to as Nabbajja cash benefited a total of 497,848 persons from targeted groups including saloon workers, bodaboda and taxi drivers, market vendors among others with each receiving 100,000 Shillings. However, it was marred by corruption allegations with some officials instead registering themselves, their relatives, or friends for relief.
Abulo explains that despite the irregularities which included paying non-eligible persons, the government could not hold the said group of people responsible for their actions. To avoid a similar scenario, GiveDirectly has decided that the system be handled by accounting officers who can be held liable.
Abulo notes that the new changes are geared towards making the administration of the process smooth and eliminating possible loopholes that might see non-eligible persons benefit from the programme.
GiveDirectly has already set aside more than 30 billion Shillings for the project targeting private school teachers in registered and licensed primary and secondary schools across the country. The NGO targets 300,000 teachers with each getting 100, 000 Shillings. To ensure transparency and efficiency, the registration process will at the basic level be handled by the school headteacher who will act as the data clerk and the first verification window gets into the system.
According to the guidelines, the headteacher will access the revamped system at the Ministry of Gender online portal (cash relief.mglsd.go.ug) by logging in with their name and their school Education management system number. After submitting, the names and other details will be verified by the district education officers using the school files in their offices.
From this point, the names will be sent to the Chief administrative officer or town clerk’s dashboard on the system who will also make more verification before it is submitted to the Ministry of Education dashboard.
Aggrey Kibenge, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, says headteachers will be required to enter details of teachers who were on the school’s payroll before the first lockdown which was initiated in March 2020. Kibenge says this can only be proved by uploading their payrolls or proof of payment for any month of the short-loved 2020 first term.
Kibenge adds that the beneficiary must be a registered teacher given the fact that submitting the information, the data will be referenced with the Ministry of Education database.
“Those who are not registered with the ministry will not benefit. However, those who have applied and can show proof for the same will be considered,” he adds.
When the registration and verification processes are done, the beneficiaries will receive their money on mobile telephones. Teachers are however warned that for the transfer to be effected, the beneficiaries’ telephone contact must be registered in his or her name.
The transfer eligibility guidelines also point out that teachers on the government payroll and those who benefited from the government relief cash are not eligible for the new programme. data obtained from the gender ministry shows that over 58,000 private school teachers were given Nabbajja cash.
Paul Etiang, the chairperson of the National Private Schools Teachers’ Association- NAPSTA, notes that although the availed relief money is coming after a long period, teachers should not ignore it or criticize the donor on a basis that it is small but rather use it wisely. To him, 100, 000 Shillings however small it is can have a positive impact on a teacher if well handled.
Meanwhile, Kibenge says that when the target group of teachers who are in primary and secondary fails to meet the required number of beneficiaries, the government will consider registering pre-primary and tertiary private school teachers to fill the gap.
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