The Ministry of Education and Sports has warned schools against increasing tuition without authorisation from the government after Speaker of Parliament Anita Among raised concern over the matter.
During the plenary sitting of Wednesday August 30, 2023, Speaker of Parliament Anita Among warned that the continued unilateral increment of fees by school owners and administrators was giving parents sleepless nights in the wake of the prevailing economic circumstances and the convenience of parents.
In a statement to Parliament on Thursday, 31 August 2023, the Minister of State for Education and Sports, Hon Peter Ogwang, heeded to the calls and presented interventions.
“…the ministry shares the concern of Honourable Members about prohibitive school fees charges which are denying access to education for a number of learners and compromising the Government objectives of providing affordable, quality education for all and increasing equitable access to Education,” he said.
Fees increment will now no longer be arbitrary.
“No school, private or government, shall increase school fees for whatever reason without written authorisation from the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education and Sports and/or chief administrative officer/town clerk as the case may be,” he added.
The minister said other cash and non-cash requirements outside the approved school fees structure are prohibited.
“All non-cash items must be catered for in the school budget,” he added.
Unsatisfied, Speaker Among pressed harder for more clarification.
“Does your circular categorise these schools in terms of village schools, urban schools; what redress do you have for parents who are complaining that the school fees are still being raised?” she said.
MP Charles Tebandeke (NUP, Bbale County) said the schools are still a law unto themselves, whimsically increasing fees.
“…right now the prices are increasing without any [Government] intervention,” he said.
With the trove of questions, Minister Ogwang committed to present a statement in which all Parliament concerns can be wholly addressed.
“…the Ministry of Education and Sports prepared a Cabinet Paper on school fees regulations. However, Cabinet in a quest to fulfil the pledge of free education for all, directed the Ministry to submit another memo on compulsory free education for all. The Ministry is embarking on this process and will brief Parliament accordingly on the progress,” he said.
He returns on Tuesday September 5, 2023 with the brief.
On fuel, Third Deputy Prime Minister and Minister Without Portfolio, Hon Rukia Nakadama said the three Ministers responsible for energy are ‘out of station.’
After a sustained back and forth, Speaker Among asked the Government Chief Whip, Hon Hamson Obua, to ask the ministers again to update the House on the escalating fuel prices.