Government Directs Schools to Maintain Fees Structure

By | January 30, 2023

Government has directed all schools not to hike fees ahead of term one which starts February 6.

“Cabinet has guided that all schools maintain the fees structure for the third term of 2022 as we await further guidance on the matter,” Uganda’s Education minister and First Lady Janet Museveni said on Friday.  

The government has previously issued such directives with zero adherence from mostly private institutions that underline economic pressures as cause for school fee hikes.  

Without necessarily showing how enforcement of the January 23 Cabinet directive will be effected, Mrs Museveni said: “It is my prayer, that our government-aided and private schools will adhere to our guidance as we all seek a fair and lasting solution to this matter.”

She added: “we are not blind to the plight of parents and guardians as they grapple with the exorbitant school fees and charges in our schools.”

Now, the government is asking “school authorities to be considerate of the plight of parents and guardians.”

On Friday, The First Lady informed that the government constituted a committee to conduct a school-fees policy study and its findings are under scrutiny to guide an informed decision.

“This study brought a number of issues to the fore and is guiding our discussions at the sector level,” she told journalists and Uganda National Examinations Board (Uneb) officials at State House during the release of 2022 Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) results.

‘Focus on UPE’

According to the Uneb executive director Daniel Odongo, at least 583,768 (70.1%) of the 832,654 2022 PLE candidates were pupils who sat exams at 11,306 Universal Primary Education (UPE) school centres across Uganda.

Citing the government program started in 1997 to benefit poor families, Ms Museveni revealed that the education ministry recently partnered with the Norwegian Embassy to carry out another major study related to the school fees question.

“The study on the UPE program is for the main aim of determining whether we need to charge fees or not in our schools,” she remarked.

Additionally, Mrs Museveni explained why UPE remains the government’s preference over private schools.

“It is because this is where many of our vulnerable families take their children and we are concerned that all our children must access education,” the minister said.

Uneb chairperson Prof Mary Okwakol Friday said the board had registered better performance in the 2022 PLE exams as contrasted with the 2022 finals.

The selection exercise for Senior One (S1) students has been confirmed for February 2 and 3 respectively- at the Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA) Exhibition Hall.  

S1 students report for their term one on February 20, 2023, the government has announced.