Uganda: Schools defy govt on hiking tuition

Several schools have defied a government directive not to increase tuition without approval from the Ministry of Education.

Some schools have already broken off for third term holidays and, this publication understands, that many have gone ahead to increase school fees despite a ministry circular putting a stop to the increment of school fees for all schools in the country.

At schools like Lohana primary school, Hormisdallen, Happimost primary school, and Salvation Army nursery school – all in Kampala, fees for next year have been increased by at least Shs 100,000.

Catherine Rose Wanyana, head teacher Lohana says that they are increasing school fees so they can cater for their pupils effectively.

The school has increased their tuition by Shs 100,000 from Shs 800,000 last year to 900,000 per term beginning next year.

“We have not increased our school fees in a while. Even during this year when there was a food shortage we maintained our fees structure for the whole year. This time round we have no option but to increase since we want to maintain the quality school services that we avail to all our children,” Wanyana said.

Edward Tindikhawa, the head teacher Happimost, says they increased the tuition for only candidate classes to be able to cover the cost the cost of remedial classes where they report to school before the rest of the students.

The ministry circular also prohibited schools from asking parents for non-cash items like paint and cement. All requirements are to be part of school fees as per the circular.

The circular was issued following the education sector review workshop where education stakeholders in the country asked the ministry to intervene by putting a stop to the ever increasing school fees that parents are asked to pay.

Gladys Nangoma, head teacher Salvation Army school, says they increased the money after agreeing with parents to do so.

“We had a general meeting with our parents and they agreed to the increase of fees. We have been paying Shs 180,000 for more than three years but were forced to ask parents for the increase because of the cost of living. Every other day, it increases instead of going down.”

Alex Kakooza, the permanent secretary, ministry of Education was not available for comment.

Aggrey David Kibenge, the under secretary said the ministry had not yet heard about the fees increment. Kibenge says that the appropriate authorities will investigate and deal with the culprits appropriately.

“They will examine all those cases where there has been non compliance and find out why they did not comply. Some of them maybe might give reasons why or why not.

If the reasons are not convincing, it will be up to the permanent secretary to choose which sanctions or measure he chooses to take.

But it should be done in line with the provisions of the law because the law requires them to that

Edith Nakadama, a parent says the fees increments that schools are asking for are a very big burden to parents.

She said at her daughter’s school, she has been asked to bring 3 kilograms of rice and another 3 kilograms of sugar on top of the Shs 600,000 school fees.

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