The Ministry of Education
and Sports says that it cannot provide financial support to private education institutions that have
been hit hard by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meeting Members of Parliament on the Education Committee on Thursday, the
Commissioner Private Schools at the Ministry Edward Sebukyu said that whereas
it is true that private schools play a big role in the education sector, the
ministry is financially constrained to support them.
Sebukyu also said the policy on financing education does not support this
proposal, adding that the policy only regulates but does not talk about support
except for the capitation grant.
Sebukyu adds that the Ministry
has instead supported private schools through providing textbooks, home study
materials to learners and the 20 Billion Shillings grant that was allocated to
teachers among others.
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The Kalungu West MP Joseph
Sewungu asked the Ministry to divert the 48 Billion Shillings allocated for
study materials and assist private schools since they are soon reopening.
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Cuthbert Abigaba the
Kibale County MP says that he supports the proposal to help private
institutions and the Government should find a solution.
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The Luweero Woman MP
Brenda Nabukenya says that Government should first account for the study
materials it purportedly supplied to schools.
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On Wednesday, the Minister
of State for Planning, Amos Lugoloobi told MPs that the government has no money
to support a special recovery fund for the education sector.
Lugoloobi instead appealed to private institutions of learning to compete for
200 billion Shillings that has been set aside under the Small Businesses
Recovery Fund to provide credit to businesses affected by COVID-19.
Private school owners
under the National Private Educational Institutions Association - Uganda
(NPEIA-UG) had petitioned parliament seeking a recovery Fund of 100 million
Shillings per school, as a stimulus package to enable a re-start of operations
of the sector.
Education Institutions were first closed on
March 18, 2020, when President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni announced a national
lockdown to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus. This directly impacted
73,240 government and private pre-primary, primary, secondary, tertiary and
higher institutions with a combined population of 15.12 million learners
and 548,182 teachers.