The cabinet that met on Monday agreed that government should abolish all forms of charges that have been collected from learners in Universal Primary Education-UPE and Universal Secondary Education –USE schools.
The cabinet is proposing free and compulsory Primary and Secondary Education when schools
reopen early next year.
The cabinet that met on Monday agreed that all forms
of charges that have been collected from learners in Universal Primary Education-UPE
and Universal Secondary Education –USE schools should be abolished.
Dr. Chris Baryomunisi, the Minister in charge of ICT and National Guidance,
notes that as one of the measures to address the challenges, learning
should be made free to ensure that all learners get an opportunity of returning
to school without being incapacitated with charges that are usually levied from
//Cue in; “We established universal…
information obtained by URN indicates that the decision is directed towards
only USE schools and it might not be effected in government-aided non-USE
schools most of which are governed by faith-based foundation bodies.
Dr. Baryomunisi further noted that the cabinet decision has a special interest
in secondary education where many learners, even before COVID19, have been
finding challenges to join due to the high fees collected from them.
The cabinet decision comes at a time when the National Planning Authority has
released a report indicating that at least 4.5 million out of the 15 million
learners that were in schools before the COVID-19 pandemic hit Uganda are
likely not to return to school.
The NPA report shows about 64.6 percent of the parents expected to struggle or
even fail to pay tuition a factor that will also increase non-enrollment,
school dropouts, and dead years. The projection is tagged on reports showing
that the COVID-19 coping measures have pushed poverty levels from 21 percent to
24 percent and are likely to push 40.6 percent of non-poor households to become
Uganda became the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to introduce universal
secondary education coming 10 years after it introduced universal primary
education. At the time, a UN report said Africa had the worst secondary school
enrollment rates in the world with many learners being locked out of school by
financial and cultural constraints among other factors.
However, with limited funding, many school management committees and PTAs in
Universal Primary education and universal Secondary Education slowly introduced
different payments like development fees, PTA fees, lunch fees among others.
Whereas schools state that education is free, when different charges instituted
are added, the charges have been making huge sums of money that several
unprivileged learners could not afford.
Mugimba, the Ministry of Education Spokesperson, notes that the education
ministry supported by the Norwegians has commissioned a study that will help
the government to understand how schools have been utilizing the PTA fees.
//Cue in; “What are the…
Cue out…are going on.”//
notes that the government through the ministry of education will soon launch a
national wide campaign that will create a dialogue with several actors to
create awareness about vices that have happened to children during the covid19
lockdown and agree on sustainable solutions.
He says that the agreement is also geared towards ensuring that all learners
that have been affected with different vices including defilement, early
marriages, among others are reintegrated back into schools next year.