KAMPALA. The Ministry of Education and Sports Permanent Secretary, Mr Alex Kakooza, yesterday allowed secondary schools to increase school fees to meet the rising cost of living.
But he warned the increase should “be within the limit” although he didn’t state the minimum or maximum fees to be charged saying this will depend on individual institutions.
Schools are set to receive Senior One students for the first term on February 13.
“While government appreciates the prevailing economic situation, which results in a number of requests to increase fees, schools should not hike these fees inconsiderably because we want all children to access education. In some cases, the increments are prohibitive. We are the authority to regulate and the fees increment should be within the limit allowable,” Mr Kakooza told head teachers yesterday at the close of a two-day Senior One selection exercise at the Uganda Manufacturers Association Hall in Kampala.
A random survey by Daily Monitor during the selection exercise showed St Mary’s College Kisubi will be charging Shs1.9 million for its Senior One entrants, while Kibuli SS students will pay Shs1.4 million, and students of Mt St Mary’s Namagunga have been asked to pay Shs1.7 million.
At Makerere College, parents will have to part with Shs1.2 million and Bweranyangi Shs1 million.
Ms Rose Iziziga, the Kitante High School head teacher, in an interview, appealed to stakeholders to be considerate if any school turns to them for support in the middle of the term.
“We don’t know how we are going to cope. The food prices are high. If they stay as high throughout the year, there will be trouble. Budgets are already drawn and approved. Our prayer is that this changes. Even if you want to increase the fees, you think of the ability of the people to pay and even when we increase, by how much?” she asked.
A kilogramme of maize flour, which sold at Shs1,800 last year is now Shs2,500, while beans have gone up from Shs2,000 to Shs2,500 per kilogramme, and a kilo of sugar increased by almost Shs1,000 per kilogramme. It is only the price of rice that has remained stable.
“How do you tell a student that there is no sugar or that the ration for posho they have been eating is going to reduce? This is where you are going to see many complaints. You can expect strikes in some schools,” Mr Iziziga said.
But this is going to be different for schools implementing the Universal Secondary Education as Mr Kakooza warned them against any fees increment that violates government policy.
The government pays Shs47,000 per student in a USE school which the stakeholders say is minimal.
Mr Kakooza also told the more than 2,500 secondary school head teachers that they have come up with a framework now before ministry’s management for approval to guide requests to grant aid to some schools. He said their priority will be on the 615 sub-counties without any government aided secondary school.
He said there are still ghost teachers and pupils on the payroll and asked head teachers to be vigilant and fight the vice.
A total of 445,576 students were placed in 2,031 government-aided technical and secondary schools against 65,760 that government expects will be taken by 1,096 private schools.
Mr Benson Kule, the commissioner secondary education, said this gives them an assurance that at least 511,336 students have already secured S1 vacancies across the country.
However, this also implies that although 29,753 students passed last year’s Primary Leaving Examinations, they have not been posted to any institution.
Their parents now have to fight on their own to ensure they continue with their education.
Releasing the PLE results this month, the Uganda National Examinations Board executive secretary, Mr Daniel Odongo, said 541,089 candidates had passed last year’s PLE between Divisions One and Division Four, compared to 517,889 candidates the previous year.
HowSchools will charge
|SCHOOL||2017 FEES||2016 FEES|
|Mt St Mary’s Namagunga||1,700,000|
|Mary’s College Kisubi||1,900,000|
|Gayaza High school||1,520,000||1,230,000|
|Trinity College Nabbingon||940,000|
|St Henry, Kitovu||1,000,000||900,000|
|Tororo Girls’ school||900,000||792,000|
|St Peters’ SS , Nsambya||900,000||780,000|
|Teso College, Aloet,||976,000||770,000|
|Nabumali high school||797,000||810,000|
|Manjasi high school||500,000||470,000|
|St Paul’s College, Mbale||584,000||584,000|
|Ediofe Girls SS||680,000||510,000|
|Muni girls SS||770,000||642,000|
|Christ the King SS||420,000||400,000|
|Bukedea Lifelive SS||554,000||370,000|
|Wanale View SS||430,000||340,000|
|Comprehensive SS, Mbale||450,000||340,000|
|Manafwa high school||350,000||300,000|
|Amanang SS [Bukwo]||192,000||110,000|