Ministry of Education and Sports bans additional charges from school fees

The ministry has issued the final statement on the extra charges schools put on their clients. These include development fees, contribution fees towards purchasing school equipment and facilities.

Students in class

The document denounces any contributions from students towards school associations like churches and mosques which are usually the founding bodies. Students and guardians are prohibited from giving schools money for teachers’ association.

In the statement, schools are requested to cut off the excess number of supporting staff who are the biggest motivators behind increased school dues and extra charges.

What the statement says

  • Schools are going to be classified into two categories: urban and rural, both are expected to charge the same fees.
  • More categories: Universal Secondary Education (USE) and non-USE for secondary institutions, Universal Primary Education (UPE) and non-UPE for primary schools.
  • School fees for day schools at both the primary and secondary levels are expected to be limited at 300,00 Shillings.
  • From the discoveries in the field, the statement shows that boarding wings spend, per term, around 350,000 Shillings on food per student, 20,000 Shillings on water and 10,000 Shillings on electricity.

More information from ministry officials

During the conference held in Kampala, ministry spokesperson Dr. Dennis Mugimba confirmed that the statement is ready to be discussed and its policies implemented after they consult with stakeholders on the matter.

The consultation will give the stakeholders a chance to weigh in on the policies and give recommendations. After which consultation the ministry will be authorised to charge schools with misconduct.

Terms and conditions for school fees increment

According to the Education Act 2008, both Parents Teacher Associations (PTA) and School Management Committees (SMC) have the authority to review school fees structures.

The procedure for fees increment dictates that the headteacher initiates the move where s/he is required to submit the decision to the finance committee of the PTA or SMC.

At this point the association/committee holds a meeting to review the submission and thereafter invites parents to a meeting where they communicate and discuss the decision.

On agreement, the association is required to write to either the Chief Administrative Officer or the town clerk of the city/municipality to approve. This is for primary schools. Secondary schools have to write to the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Education and Sports through the SMC.

These documents have to show the signatures of attendees including parents’ representatives who appeared in the general meeting.

Although the signed agreements serve as evidence, the Chief Administrative Officer or Permanent Secretary reserves all the power to either approve or reject the proposal.

Dr. Mugimba revealed that the majority of education facilities do not go through this process.

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