By Jurugo Emmanuel Ogasto
The Moyo District Education Officer has warned school administrators in the Uganda refugee settlement camps against hiking school fees that in turn forces refugee children out of class.
As schools opened for the third term of this academic year 2022 on Monday, administrators of government aided and private schools in Moyo district of Uganda’s West Nile region especially those refugee settlements have been warned against any tendency of increasing termly fees on learners.
The warning has been sounded by the District Education Officer following reports that schools across the country want to increase school fees to absorb the shock of the sky-rocketing commodity prices in the market.
Michael Mali, the Moyo District Education Officer told No. 1 Citizen Daily Newspaper that the government of Uganda has issued a circular to the effect that no school is supposed to increase school fees, up to such a time when the Country’s economy that has been destabilized by the two years of lockdown to contain spread of Corona Virus Disease stabilizes.
He said many South Sudanese refugee children living in resettlement camps have abandoned education because of the high school fees.
“They cannot pay their school fees, first of all they depend on the UNHCR where do you expect them to get the money,” he questioned.
The revised guidelines for planning capitation grants for government aided schools for the financial year 2021/2022 issued by the Ministry of Education and Sports, that No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper obtained a copy of indicated that government has a budget of 1,350,000 shillings for every school implementing Universal Primary Education with each of the schools receiving 450,000 shillings per term.
According to the breakdown of the money, each learner is paid school fees of 17,000 shillings per year that translates to 5,667 shillings per term.
The government pays each learner of Special Needs Education a total of 18,700 shillings per year that translates to 6,233 shillings in a term.
For every school implementing Universal Secondary Education, the government pays every student 175, 000 shillings for one academic term.
In the breakdown, government pays each student a sum of 58,000 shillings per term in school fees.
While for every student in Universal Post Ordinary Level Education and Training –UpoLET-, government pays 270,000 shillings in school fees per year, translating into 90,000 shillings per term.
Mr. Mali called on the school administrators to stick to the revised guidelines for planning their capitation grants in order not to be caught on the off side of the law.
However, the District Education Officer advised school administrators to be creative by having income saving initiatives in schools so that the little funds they receive are not drained completely.