By Sseguya Ismail
The Government of Uganda through the Ministry of Education and Sports issues strong warning to errant head teachers who decided to hiking school fees, despite a government directive to the contrary.
The comes after public outcry over some schools that raised fees structures, oblivious to the financial challenges parents face.
The Minister of State for Primary Education, Dr. Joyce Kaducu Moriku told the media in Kampala that the government shares the concern of the public about the unrealistic and prohibitive school fees charges which are denying access to basic and secondary education for a number of learners.
“It is against this background that the Minister of Education and Sports set up the Kayanja Committee then in March 2017. The objectives of the committee included establishment of the current fees structures for government and private schools, finding out the cost triggers of the escalating fees and proposal of any other measures necessary in the management of fees and recommendations for controlling the escalation of fees,” she said.
The findings and recommendations of the committee according to the minister were considered and guidelines issued while taking into consideration the liberalised nature of the economy and the need for government to regulate rather than control levels of fees.
In the long-term, Kaducu said the basis of the guidelines for fees structures should be the unit cost for each category of education.
She directed all chairpersons of school management committees for primary schools and board of governors for secondary schools to ensure that the directive issued by the government to maintain the school fees at the level of term 1 2020 are adhered to.
“For schools where the parents have already paid the ‘top up fees; the charges should be rolled over to the subsequent terms in academic year 2022, as prepaid fees. I will require all head teachers of the schools affected to issue a circular to all parents communicating the new developments in any case not later than 17th January 2022,” she said.
The minister said all head teachers of schools charging ‘top up’ fees are required to conduct board of governors special meetings to review their budget estimates and work plans for academic year 2022 and follow due process.
“All schools must within the first six weeks from the date of re-opening convene a parents general meeting to discuss the standard operating procedures and the fees structure for term 2 and term 3 for academic year 2022,” she noted.