CSO Petitions Parliament over Hiked Fees in Govt Schools

2514 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
She presented a photocopy of a circular from St. Mary College Kisubi indicating special development fees of 500,000 Shillings that is required from a student before admission letters are issued out. Also presented is a 2017 Senior One admission circular from St. Henrys College Kitovu indicating payments like Maintenance fees of to 391,600 Shillings, Centenary project fund of 120,000 Shillings, Pastoral care of 35,000 Shillings, and development fund 120,000 Shillings among others.

The Initiative for Social and Economic rights (ISER), a Civil Society Organisation - CSO has petitioned parliament challenging high tuition and non-tuition fees charged by government aided schools.
 
Officials from the CSO led by the Programmes Director Angella Nabwowe on Wednesday presented the petitioned signed by 180 Ugandans to Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga.
 
Nabwowe told Kadaga that the breakdown of the fess structure is problematic citing non-tuition charges like development fees and entrance fees among others that need to be justified.
 
She presented a photocopy of a circular from St. Mary' College Kisubi indicating special development fees of 500,000 Shillings that is required from a student before admission letters are issued out.
 
Also presented is a 2017 Senior One admission circular from St. Henry's College Kitovu indicating payments like Maintenance fees of to 391,600 Shillings, Centenary project fund of 120,000 Shillings, Pastoral care of 35,000 Shillings, and development fund 120,000 Shillings among others.
 
Nabwowe noted other concerns of high tuition fees charged by government aided schools ranging between 800,000 Shillings to 1.8 million Shillings. She said that this is a threat to the poor citizens since it makes no difference compared with private schools.
 
"The high fees charged by these government aided schools defeats the spirit of the Sustainable Development Goals of leaving no one behind, and we therefore request that Parliament makes an inquiry into the issue of the different kinds of fees," she said.
 
Based on 13 grounds including constitutional provisions and other government measures to extend education to Ugandans, the CSO notes that education is a social good and that government has a responsibility to ensure its access regardless of status and social background.
 
The petitioners cite Article 30 of the Constitution which provides that all persons have a right to education.
 
They further note the introduction of Universal Primary Education - UPE and Universal Secondary Education - USE and the fact that government shoulders wages of teachers in government aided schools.
 
Nabwowe appealed for an inquiry from parliament with a view of carrying recommendations to the Education and Sports Ministry.
 
Speaker Kadaga promised to ensure that the petition gets to the floor of parliament saying that many children have fallen victim yet most of the fees charged are unnecessary.
 
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Kadaga also hailed the CSO for paying attention to second generation rights such as education as opposed to previously fronted concerns of political rights and right to freedom of expression.

 

About the author

Olive Nakatudde
Olive Nakatudde is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Nakatudde has been a URN staff member since 2013.

Nakatudde started out in journalism in 2009 with Dembe FM radio in Kampala. In 2012, Nakatudde joined Voice of Africa as a political reporter. She has been a photographer since her journalism school days at Makerere University.

Nakatudde is interested in good governance and public policy, which she reports on intensively from the Uganda Parliament. She is a keen follower of cultural affairs in Buganda Kingdom and covers the kingdom's Lukiiko (parliament). Nakatudde also reports on education and health.