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Thursday, August 18, 2022

Janet Museveni orders international schools on fees for online lessons

First lady Janet Museveni’s education ministry has ordered international schools to stop charging online teaching fees for national curriculum learners.

On July 07, ministry permanent secretary Alex Kakooza wrote to Aga Khan Education Services Uganda (Akesu) international school on the fees issue.

Parents had written to Ms Museveni complaining about the fees.

The parents’ lawyers of Simon Kabenge Advocates described the fees as ‘illegal.”

They listed some of the schools as Daffodils, Kampala Parents and Akesu International School.

Kampala Parents School wanted Shs1.85m to facilitate online classes during the Covid19 lockdown.

“[They] have ignored and demeaned parents’ pleas,” lawyers wrote to the minister at the end of last month.

“[They have] even threatened to expel students from school for non-payment of these illegal fees. It is absurd.”

In her recent address, Janet Museveni said the ministry was putting forward put forward a “comprehensive sector-wide agenda” to guide e-learning mechanisms.

She also dismissed reports she was against online teaching.

Days after Ms Museveni’s address, PS Kakooza wrote to Akesu guiding on lesson fees.

He ordered the school management body to “urgently engage parents of learners of the international curriculum” to agree on “reasonable fees.”

“The school should not require parents of national curriculum learners to pay for online learning during the Covid19 closure of schools,” he directed.

Kakooza reminded Akesu that government had funded the development of  materials for national curriculum learners.

“The school management should, therefore, guide learners to make use of these standardised materials, which are free of charge,” he further ordered.

“This applies to all schools, national and international.”

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