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Gov’t to withdraw aid from private, gov’t-aided schools due to overcharging fees

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Joyce Moriku Kaducu

Masaka, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The government is considering revoking its partnership and grant aiding private schools that are faulting the Universal Education policy.

The State Minister in Charge of Primary Education Doctor Joyce Moriku Kaducu, said that the government is going to withdraw its capitation grants and any support to private schools that have continued to overcharge its students for education services.

Speaking at a meeting with the District Chief Administrative Officers and Financial Officers at St Henry’s College Kitovu on Thursday, the Minister indicated that the ministry and the various stakeholders have noted with concern about the many government-aided schools that are still charging exorbitant fees from students, despite being beneficiaries to public funds.

On several occasions, President Yoweri Museveni has come out publicly to slam school administrators who continue to charge fees from parents, describing them as obstructions to universal education.

According to Dr. Kaducu, they have already identified at least 105 government-aided private primary schools and 109 government-aided secondary schools that deviated from the foundational principles of providing universal education to students.  She explains that the ministry has decided to reconsider its partnership with private schools that are hesitant to abide by the demands of Universal Primary Education and Universal Secondary Education policies.

She accordingly asked the Chief Administrative Officers to be on the lookout for the noncomplying schools and report them to the Ministry of Education and Sports for action.

In addition, Dr. Kaducu noted that the Ministry of Education and Sports has also developed a framework to implement a compulsory free education plan, as part of the government’s comprehensive plan to improve the quality of education and its outcomes.

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She says the government has committed the render the necessary support towards realizing the broader objectives of the developed plan.

Meanwhile, the various school administrators justify their actions of charging fees from parents to the government’s failure to cater to all education needs of learners, which leaves them with no alternative.

Mary Babirye Kabanda, the Chairperson of the Private Schools Proprietors Association in Masaka, challenges the government to hastily increase the budgetary allocation into the Education sector if it is to turn it around for the better.

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