Disagreements are hindering the construction of seed secondary
schools in sub-counties.
Statistics from the Education Ministry indicates that there are 615
sub-counties in Uganda that have no government secondary schools. Of these
sub-counties, 228 are government-aided.
Government was expected to construct secondary schools under a World Bank loan
project -Inter-Government Fiscal Transfer Program in the remaining 387
sub-counties. Construction commenced this financial year 2019/2020 with the
construction of 127 Seed Secondary.
However, with the financial year closing in six months, Uganda Radio Network
learned that constructions in different sub-counties had stalled.
In a meeting between MPs and the Minister of Education and Sports Janet
Museveni, Robert Musoke, the Budiope West MP wondered why the construction of
planned schools had stalled in different parts of the country.
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Jonam County MP Emmanuel Ongiertho also noted that the committee had received
information from the local governments that construction of seed schools had
stalled. He questioned the level of supervision that the Ministry has on
different contractors constructing the schools.
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Jacob Opolot, the Education Committee Chairperson noted that they had heard
reports of projects being transferred from the beneficiary sub-counties.
In her response, Janet Museveni denied that the construction of
the schools was being affected by the supervision of works. She said that the
project was being implemented by her ministry together with the local
governments handling different tasks.
She blamed the mishaps of the project on disagreements about the location where
the seed secondary schools should be constructed.
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Alex Kakooza, the Education Ministry Permanent Secretary blamed local
politicians of affecting the project saying that some politicians are involved
in fights on where the schools should be built.
He also said that they intend to reconsider whether a contractor can
construct more than one school saying that the issue of a particular
contractor constructing more than one school was delaying the work since the
contractor’s cash flows get constrained.
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Kakooza also ruled out supervision loopholes.
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Cabinet last year approved a loan of 1.5 trillion Shillings from the World Bank
to construct secondary schools as well upgrade Health Centres and run rural
electrification projects. The project is expected to be implemented over a
period of five years starts this year 2019 to 2023.
Sam Kuloba, the Commissioner Secondary Education earlier told MPs that after
the construction of the 127 seed secondary schools this financial year, other
115 seed secondary schools are to be constructed in the coming financial year.
After construction, the ministry plans to recruit a minimum of 21 teachers and
6 other staff including a Head Teacher, Deputy Headteacher, Bursar and others
for each school. Each school construction costing Shillings 2 billion and will
involve construction of 6 classrooms, 6 houses for the headteacher, deputy headteacher
and other key staff.