All educational institutions have been barred from increasing school fees for the first term scheduled to begin on February 6 for senior two to senior six and February 20 for senior one learners.
Speaking at the release of results for the 2022 Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE), the first lady and the minister for Education and Sports, Janet Museveni said that cabinet had guided the ministry that all schools must maintain the fees structure for the third term of 2022.
“This week on Monday, we sought cabinet’s guidance on this issue. Please know that we are aware of the high commodity prices that have greatly affected the cost of running schools and life in general. But we must also be considerate of the plight of parents and guardians. Cabinet promised to give further guidance on the matter,” Museveni said.
She added: “It is my prayer therefore, that our schools, government schools, government aided schools and private schools will adhere to our guidance not to increase school fees in the next term as we all seek a fair and lasting solution to this matter”.
The cabinet directive comes at a time when schools already issued circulars to parents reflecting fees increments this term. Schools are yet to issue a new fees structure to senior one learners after the official selection exercise that will be held on February 2 and 3 at the Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA exhibition hall).
“Everybody should just stay tuned and wait and listen to what the government is going to say about these school charges. Perhaps, we shall find a lasting solution,” Janet further quoted President Museveni as saying during the 37th Liberation day celebrations held in Kakumiro district on Thursday.
In 2016, the Education ministry instituted a committee led by Prof Fredrick Ian Kayanja to investigate school fees and charges. The committee came up with recommendations which have since been shared with another committee for review.
In December 2022, the new committee came up with a statutory instrument detailing fees structures and penalties for offenders. The instrument tasked private schools to charge fees as follows; pre-primary: Shs 690,000; primary: Shs 570,000 (day); and Shs 1,220,000 (boarding), secondary and vocational institutions, Shs 960,000 (day) and Shs 1,610, 000 (boarding). The ministry did not list fees caps for international schools that charge more than Shs 25 million per term.
Whereas the statutory instrument on fees leaked to the media, Museveni insisted that discussions are still ongoing at sector level, thus calling for “patience” among education stakeholders.
Last week, the speaker of parliament Anita Among also tasked the Education ministry to take stern against schools that have increasingly defied directives on increasing school fees.
“Any such school fees increment will be in total disregard of the prevailing social economic realities in the country. As such, I call upon government to prudently exercise its regulatory role in ensuring that no such arbitrary school increments are effected this term” Among said.