The Education and Sports ministry has warned public schools against charging “compulsory fees” in Universal Primary Education (UPE) and Universal Secondary Education (USE) schools.
Mr Tonny Mukasa-Lusambu, the assistant commissioner for primary education, said the Education Act barred public schools from collecting such compulsory charges from learners.
The commissioner was last Tuesday responding to a concern by the Abim Resident District Commissioner, Mr Samuel Mpimbaza Hashaka, that some public schools in the area were promoting the practice.
Mr Mukasa-Lusambu was speaking during the launch of a new education project worth Shs18.8 billion, which is funded by Educate A Child, Korea International Cooperation Agency and World Vision Korea at Kanu Primary School in Abim District.
Mr Hashaka said the charges were keeping many children in the area away from school.
“Today, we want a clarification from the ministry because as far as I am concerned, the President directed that there is no payment in UPE and USE schools as long as it is a day school,” Mr Hashaka said.
Mr Mukasa-Lusambu explained that there are no compulsory charges under UPE and USE.
“The charges, if imposed at all, must be optional. If you agree on any charges, the district authorities must endorse them before implementation. The charges are optional. No child should be exempted from school because of such optional charges,” he explained.