Rural Teacher Shortages and Home-grown Solutions

A Ugandan Case Study


  • Gilbert Arinaitwe University of Tasmania
  • Michael Corbett Acadia University



homegrown teachers, culturally-similar teachers, teacher retention, rural education


This paper provides a case study of teacher retention in rural Uganda focussing on the importance of rural experience and cultural connections. We argue that this study illustrates how rural parents and teachers reciprocally influence each other, and that homegrown and culturally-similar rural teachers bridge parents with the school both linguistically and through engagement in common community and cultural practices. While this case study illustrates the uniqueness of a particularly understudied African context, we suggest that the phenomenon of attracting homegrown and culturally-similar teachers is a complex and socio-culturally specific practice that, if intentionally supported, holds potential benefits for hard-to-staff schools. This work suggests the value of international case studies of teacher retention in diverse contexts.

Author Biography

Michael Corbett, Acadia University

Michael Corbett has worked in the School of Education at Acadia University since 2002. From 1983 to 2002, he worked as a public-school teacher, consultant and principal in Indigenous and rural communities in Manitoba and in Nova Scotia. His experience working in small schools in non-metropolitan places shaped his scholarly focus on the uneven development of modern education systems throughout the world, and particularly in the Canadian context.

Corbett has studied of rural outmigration, youth educational decision-making, the politics of educational assessment, literacies in rural contexts, improvisation and the arts in education, the position of rural identities and experience in education, conceptions of space, place and mobilities, the viability of small rural schools, "wicked" policy problems and controversies in education, and the use of film and video as a literate medium in schools. He has published widely for academic audiences contributing more than 200 books, scholarly articles, reviews, book chapters, reports, conference presentations and invited addresses. Corbett has worked with rural communities and schools in Australia and Canada as well as doing international comparative work in Norway and Finland. From 2015-to the beginning of 2018 he served as Professor or Rural and Regional Education at the University of Tasmania where he also holds an adjunct professorship.





How to Cite

Arinaitwe, G., & Corbett, M. (2022). Rural Teacher Shortages and Home-grown Solutions: A Ugandan Case Study. Australian and International Journal of Rural Education, 32(1), 18–32.

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