Tuesday March 13 2018

Government to audit private schools over USE funds

Pupils of Bugomba Primary School in Luuka Distri

Pupils of Bugomba Primary School in Luuka District study under a tree. Such schools will be audited. File photo  

By PATIENCE AHIMBISIBWE

KAMPALA- The ministry of Education has said they will start auditing private schools implementing the Universal Secondary Education (USE) programme to ensure administrators account for taxpayers’ money that government has invested in their institutions.

The commissioner for private schools, Mr Ismail Mulindwa, said some school owners divert public funds to personal developments, leaving the institutions without teaching materials.

Mr Mulindwa said as a result, government stopped funding for Senior One and Senior Five students in 792 private schools implementing USE.

“When money is put on the school account, some of the proprietors go and withdraw it. That is when you marry six wives, renovate your houses and buy new cars. You don’t use the money to aid the teaching and learning,” he said.

He added: “You are managing public funds illegally. You get government money and put it in your pockets. Things are changing a little bit. Very soon you will have auditors at your doors to ask you how you are spending this money.”

However, the private school owners under their umbrella body, the Federation of Non-state Education Institutions (FENEI), said the government’s decision to withdraw USE funding was drastic without consultation with stakeholders.

In addition, they have also appealed to government to allow them start charging fees, which they said parents were not accustomed to in the last 10 years.

But Mr Mulindwa said individual schools must write to the ministry permanent secretary, justifying why they want to levy a certain amount of money.

pahimbisibwe@ug.nationmedia.com

advertisement