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Government clears air on school fees

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Parents with arrears of term one will be expected to clear their fees debts when schools re-open, according to education ministry officials. It has also been clarified that when schools reopen, more weeks will be added on the second and third terms of the academic year.

As a plan to have schools reopened, a reliable source in the education ministry told the New Vision: “For parents who had paid the school fees, there is no reason to worry. They will be compensated for the time lost, through the extension of the term. Those who had not yet cleared will have to pay their fees arrears.”

But, schools’ managements, in the proposal to Government by the ministry’s team, are to be asked to find a reasonable payment modality for the parents.

This is one of the proposals to the Government by the ministry, according to sources; ahead of the reopening of the schools. The general reopening date for schools has not been set by the Government.

But, candidate classes and final year students at university and institutions will resume studies on June 4, this year.

Schools and universities were closed on March 18 by President Yoweri Museveni to avoid the spread of coronavirus in the country.

Sources say some private and public boarding schools have already appealed to the Government that they had already bought food and have been paying teachers; saying this is the reason why it is only fair that parents clear the school fees

“School heads say they have been paying teachers and did not lay them off. In return, schools are to be tasked with teaching extra weeks in term two and three, to cover for this payment made or to be made by parents,” a source explained. The education ministry’s management has proposed to the Government that the two terms be made longer. However, it has also been proposed that no students should be forced out of school for nonpayment.

Parliament has okayed the request by the Ministry of Education and Sports to boost the Security of exams in the country, by increasing the budget for Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) by Shs11b.

These proposals are part of the guidelines which are expected to be announced soon by the Government. The fees issue is part of several dozens of standard operating procedures which have been proposed to the Government.

Parents’ views

Parents that Saturday Vision interviewed say as long as schools are flexible, it is understandable for them to clear their arrears. However, some parents are worried schools are ruthless and will keep their children out of school for non-fees payment.

Jacob Bamwenda, a parent with three children in Masaka’s primary schools, said: “Many of us have not been working and yet we have to pay school fees. If we are to pay last term’s fees and the new term; how will this be possible? Some school authorities are ruthless.”

Amara Harriet, a parent at one of the top private secondary schools in Kampala, said: “It is reasonable that parents pay their arrears as long as they are compensated in the teaching timetable.” She added that she hopes that schools will be reasonable in scheduling the payments.

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  1. Pingback: Ministry of Education recruits 8,300 new teachers - Education News Uganda

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