By PATRICK JARAMOGI
KAMPALA, Uganda [SHIFTMEDIA] A Statutory Instrument by the Ministry of Education and Sports barring private schools from hiking school fees will be out before school term opens on February 6 2023, highly placed sources within the ministry has revealed to us.
Without this statutory instrument, government would find it so hard to implement the directives made by Education Minister and First Lady Hon. Hon Janet Kataha Museveni.
What it states
The Education Act 2008 gives the Education minister sweeping powers.
Part II of the legislation states that “the minister shall, from time to time, initiate policies and reforms of education as the need arises; and the minister shall, from time to time, issue statutory instruments regarding Universal Primary Education, Universal Post Primary Education and Training, school meals, school charges, school uniforms, management and governance of education institutions in accordance with this Act among other responsibilities.”
A highly placed source close to the office of the Education Minister told us yesterday that they were under immense pressure to have this instrument in place before the new term opens in the first week of February.
‘The beauty about it is that the process started way back last year, and there is no need to go through Cabinet or parliament, the Minister has powers in this regard,” said the source.
‘The pressure has been intense and I am pretty sure the technical team behind process will deliver in time since the committee set to study the school fees policy had completed its task,” added the source.
Following Janet Museveni’s directives last year, the process of drafting the statutory instrument commenced with the consultations of various stakeholders in the education sector.
“This process is complete, and the final stages of the instrument are on now, perhaps out before the school term starts,” said the source.
Once released private schools that have the habit of increasing fees at will and asking parents to bring items like cement, paint, wheelbarrows and iron-sheets, may cease.
While releasing the 2022 Primary Leaving Examinations results at State House Nakasero last Week, Janet Museveni warned schools against hiking fees.
She told the press that Cabinet had guided that all schools maintain
the fees structure for the third term of 2022.
But this has not been respected by most schools, especially private ones have gone ahead to increase fees.
“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,” said the First Lady.