Gov’t restricts excessive school charges

The Minister of State for Sports, Hon. Peter Ogwang has in a statement to Parliament communicated government’s intervention against exorbitant school fees and requirements. 

During the plenary sitting of Wednesday, 30 August 2023, Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among raised concern about the unilateral increment of fees by school administrators.
Speaker Among demanded for government regulations prescribing the manner in which school charges and requirements can be levied having in mind the prevailing economic circumstances and the convenience of parents. 
On Thursday, 31 August 2023, Ogwang heeded to the calls and presented interventions. 
“…the ministry shares the concern of honourable members about prohibitive school fees which are denying access to education for a number of learners and compromising the government objectives of providing affordable, quality education for all and increasing equitable access to education,” said Ogwang. 

Fees increment will now no longer be arbitrary. 
“No school, private or government shall increase school fees for whatever reason without written authorization from the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education and Sports and/or chief administrative officer/town clerk as the case may be,” Ogwang said.
“Other cash and non-cash requirements outside the approved school fees structure are strictly prohibited. All non-cash items must be catered for in the school budget,” he added. 

Unsatisfied, Members of Parliament pressed harder for more answers. 
“Does your circular categorise these schools in terms of village schools, urban schools; what redress do you have for parents who are complaining that the school fees are still being raised?” said Speaker Among. 

Hon. Charles Tebandeke (NUP, Bbale County) said the schools are still a law unto themselves, whimsically increasing fees. 
“…right now the prices are increasing without any [government] intervention,” he said.

Ogwang committed to present a statement in which all Parliament concerns can be wholly addressed. 
“…the Ministry of Education and Sports prepared a Cabinet paper on school fees regulations. However, Cabinet in a quest to fulfil the pledge of free education for all, directed the ministry to submit another memo on compulsory free education for all. The ministry is embarking on this process and will brief Parliament accordingly,” he said. 

He returns on Tuesday,  05 September  2023 with the brief. 

On fuel, Third Deputy Prime Minister and Minister Without Portfolio, Hon. Rukia Nakadama said the three ministers responsible for energy are ‘out of station.’

After a sustained back and forth, Speaker Among asked the Government Chief Whip, Hon. Hamson Obua, to ask the ministers, again,  to update the House on the escalating fuel prices.