While the Ministry of Education & Sports officially ordered for early closure of schools citing the ravaging Ebola outbreak in the country, the MPs on the education & sports committee insist, the matter is discriminative and selective and ought to be looked at as matter of national importance. –Writes Arans Tabaruka
The ministry of justice and Constitutional Affairs has drafted the Ministry of Education and sports school Fees & charges regulations.
The minister of State (Education & Sports) Crysistom Muyingo tabled the draft regulations and promised to provide capped school fees considerations.
The issue follows contentions over the ongoing rising exorbitant tuition charges in education institutions.
MPs note that; gaps continue to emerge in handling this matter with urgency. In the committee’s view, the schools and the ministry are in connivance because when schools write to the ministry as a requirement for approval of school fees increments, there is no known response found at schools in this regard but schools go further to increase schools fees without recourse.
The ministry insists in their response that the PS has approved the increments.
Following the 2018 Kayanja Report, the Ministry came up with measures to curb down such arbitrary and exobitant fees charges. It however remains to be effective.
The Committee also demanded for evidence on how many children, teachers have been affected by Ebola to guarantee abrupt closure of schools four weeks to the official closure.
Hon. Sewungu put the committee on notice, asking the committee to write to the First Lady and Minister of Education & Sports for her role in the continued dodging of the committee business.
The issue of exorbitant tuition charges by schools are matter for interrogation and raises necessary need for assesment.
Further findings are; that govt does not have MOUs with govt and grant-aided schools and that the schools fees regulations are ready.
There is contestation on many grant-aided schools listed by the ministry receiving grants which for instance includes Ntale School which is not a grantee.
The ministry however insisted that they will deal with granted schools on a case by case basis.
The ministry is also, tabled a draft school fees & charges regulations ready for stakeholder consultations.
In 1997, the ministry moved to implement the UPE programme and set standard school fees charges without consultation, it’s now a policy gaps that remains to haunt them as private still wildly charge exorbitant fees.