Uganda’s President Gen Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni has vowed to deal with heads of government schools who are charging poor parents high school fees.
Speaking in Serere where he had gone to campaign for his ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party flag bearer in the Serere County byelection, Philip Oucor, Gen Museveni also hinted on a law to regulate school fees that would make it illegal to charge fees in schools under the Universal Primary Education (UPE), Universal Post Ordinary Level Education and Training (UPOLET), and Universal Secondary Education (USE) program.
Under the UPE program, government spends about Shs14,000 on each student every year; Shs170,000 is spent on each O-level (lower secondary) student per year, while Shs255,000 is spent on each A-level (upper secondary) student per year under the USE program.
The president was concerned that school heads were sabotaging his government’s efforts to deal ignorance a blow. Museveni told school heads to ask government to raise capitation grants under UPE, USE and UPOLET instead of charging school fees.
“Ignorance is also another big problem. We gave you the method but people don’t listen to us. we said free Education is a way to abolish ignorance, we started on this in 1997 but because of not listening to us, you get resistance; the Head Teachers still bring back school charges and yet we are sending so much money here for UPE,” Museveni said.
“In Teso there are 723 primary schools where we send Shs7 billion for Teso only and we said for the Children of the poor to study, remove school charges but you still find people chasing them from school. We told these people if you think this money we are sending you is not enough, tell us we send more, but don’t send children back home. But they don’t understand that in order to get rid of ignorance, the only medicine is Education for all.”
Gen Museveni warned that he will soon launch a full scale war against school heads charging fees in government schools. He also hinted on a law to regulate fees.
“NRM is patient we are going to continue and we are going to bring a new law totally prohibiting charging of fees in government schools. If you want to charge money go and build a private school. You will soon hear the war on that issue,” the president warned.
In recent weeks, schools, both government and private, have refused to adhere to directives by cabinet and Janet Museveni, the Ugandan first lady and Minister of Education and Sports, regarding school fees increment.
As we reported recently, a number of top schools have charged high school fees for Senior One students. You can see the list of Uganda’s most expensive secondary schools charging between Shs1m and Shs3m HERE.
Meanwhile, Minister Frank Tumwebaze has advised parents not to kill themselves over vacancies in the so-called highly ranked schools, saying their children can still make it in rural third-world schools just like he rose from despised schools and has become a big person in the country. (Read Story Here).
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