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Schools in Gulu Struggle to Operate As Parents Fail to Pay Fees

Moses Kidega, the Deputy Head-teacher of Gulu College School, a private aided institution disclosed that of 141 candidates registered to sit UCE, only 78 had partially cleared the school dues while 63 were still struggling to look for fees worth over 20 million shillings.
05 Mar 2021 16:28
S.4 candidates of Gulu College School chatting ahead of their Monday Physics Practical paper- Photo by Dominic Ochola

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Schools in Gulu City have decried financial difficulties due to uncollected fees from students sitting the Uganda Certificate of Education – UCE exams.

In 2019, the First Lady Janet Kataha Museveni who is also the Minister of Education and Sports said asked school administrators not to stop any student who is registered by Uganda National Examinations Board – UNEB from sitting their final papers.

A section of school administrators notes that the extended lockdown measures imposed by the Government to contain the spread of the global Coronavirus Disease – COVID-19 had a far-reaching financial impact on them.

Moses Kidega, the Deputy Head-teacher of Gulu College School, a private aided institution disclosed that of 141 candidates registered to sit UCE, only 78 had partially cleared the school dues while 63 were still struggling to look for fees worth over 20 million shillings.

Kidega also explained that they lost over 50 candidates during the COVID-19 lockdown. He explained that some students were transferred away to other schools while others dropped out, which could be impacted negatively on their financial steadiness.  

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Irene Mwaka, the Head-teacher of Gulu Senior Secondary School, a government-aided school revealed that they are equally faced with the same financial predicament. Mwaka disclosed that the school hasn’t received capitation grant releases from the Education Ministry.

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Overall, Gulu Secondary School has over 2,000 students’ population. According to the Mwaka, of those, 408 are candidates sitting the on-going UCE exams and over 90 million remains uncollected from the parents of the school.

Concy Auma, a parent and market vendor in Gulu City whose daughter is sitting the UCE exams says the global pandemic has impacted negatively businesses and raising school fees has become so difficult than ever which explains why several parents have delayed offset school dues.  

The situation is the same across all the 29 UCE schools in Gulu City that are participating in the national exams that commenced on Monday. Up to 333,889 candidates from across 3,935 centres in Uganda are sitting the national exams.