Gov't Explains Phasing Out USE in Private Schools

2645 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Starting this year, no private school will receive capitation grant for senior one and senior five entrants. The only available provision will go towards sustaining learners in senior two three, four and six.

Government is phasing out Universal Secondary Education (USE) support in private schools to save funds for construction its own schools and improving existing ones.

The Ministry of Education Permanent Secretary Alex Kakooza says starting this year, no private school will receive capitation grant for senior one and senior five entrants. However, he explains, the government will continue providing capitation grant for Universal Secondary Education students already in senior two three, four and six in private schools.

Started in 2007, the government has been paying 47,000 Shillings per student per term for students accessing free education in private schools implementing Universal Secondary Education. A total of 792 private secondary schools have been receiving this capitation grant.

While speaking at the selection of senior-one students at Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA) grounds in Kampala, Kakooza said government brought private schools on board during the implementation of USE because it had no secondary schools in many areas.

The situation, he said has been improving since the government has built more schools and will need to save money to complete the initiative of constructing a school in each Sub County.
 
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When asked how much will be saved, Kakooza said the ministry has no specific figure.  He says the figure has not been determined because the government has been losing money through leakages such as ghost students that can't be determined now. He explained that government has been struggling to get the exact figure of students benefiting from USE in private schools.
 
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There are 615 sub-counties in Uganda that have no government secondary schools. Of these sub-counties, 228 are supposed to be grant-aided meaning that government will be taking over private schools.
 
This financial year, the government has earmarked 100 secondary schools for grant-aiding and the remaining 128 which will be considered next financial year. This leaves a total of 387 sub-counties where the government will be constructing secondary schools, according to Kakooza.
 
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State Minister for Higher Education John Chrysostom Muyingo explained that some private schools were flouting terms of the Memorandum of Understanding signed with the government. For instance, he said students would be denied to sit exams for minor issues such as failure to pay examination fees.
 
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About the author

Blanshe Musinguzi
Musinguzi Blanshe is a politics-cum-business journalist. He joined Uganda Radio Network in February 2017. Previously, he worked at Daily Monitor and Red Pepper Publications Limited. He is keenly interested in data journalism.