Schools under the Universal Secondary Education (USE) are struggling to keep running to the end of second term after government failed to remit funds on time to run the programs.
Schools under the Universal Primary and Secondary Education programmes are struggling to keep running to the end of second term after government failed to remit funds on time to run their activities.
A number of schools are now relying on the good will of their suppliers to ensure they go through the school term.
Universal Secondary Education (USE) was introduced in 2006 as one of President Yoweri Museveni’s campaign pledges. It was in response to large numbers of children who were completing primary school education but having no money to enroll for secondary education. Government had introduced universal primary education (UPE) in 1997.
But the two programmes have been affected by poor or delayed funding.
Schools have had to borrow stationary, chemicals and food to remain in operation. Most of the schools are feeling the pinch especially now that they are writing their end of term and mock examinations.
Headmasters that preferred not to be named said some schools have had to put up with striking students because of the financial hardships they are going through.
Some students cannot comprehend how government can fail to have money to run the program, so when they miss school trips or participating in co-curricular activities, they resort to strikes.
Assistant Commissioner for Secondary Education, Francis Agula confirms that the education ministry was aware the schools were struggling to complete the term.
Agula attributes the failure to remit money to schools on an attempt to decentralize schools to local governments. He says the Ministry of Finance would now channel school grants direct to school accounts through Local government instead of sending money to the Ministry of Education as it has been.
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Agula appeals to schools to remain calm saying the Ministry of Education submitted a list of the schools participating in the USE program together with their accounts to the Ministry of Finance but are yet to get a reply.
However, it’s not yet clear when the Ministry of Finance would release the USE and UPE funds to the schools. Our reporter tried to reach the Acting Permanent Secretary, Keith Muhakanizi, who was reportedly in meeting.
It was not also possible to speak to the Director in charge of budget, Patrick Ochailap, to ascertain the status of the remittances because he was also said to be in a meeting.
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universal secondary education
ministry of finance
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