Govt has no money for TVs

Tuesday June 30 2020

Children follow lessons on a radio. As a

Children follow lessons on a radio. As a measure to allow the continuity of learning while in lockdown, lessons were broadcast on radio and televisions. PHOTO | FILE 

By PATIENCE AHIMBISIBWE

The government is stuck with the presidential directive to procure radios and television sets intended to aid teaching and learning while students remain at home during the lockdown.

Sources close to Ministry of Education who preferred anonymity told Daily Monitor that although there was no money budgeted for the equipment in the financial year ending today, and the new one starting tomorrow, plans are underway to procure the radios and television sets.

The source said Cabinet instructed the Ministry of Education Permanent Secretary (PS), Mr Alex Kakooza, to work with his counterpart in Finance to see how they will raise about Shs300 billion to purchase 10 million radios to be distributed to each household countrywide and 137, 466 solar-powered television sets to villages.

“The PS has been working with Ministry of Finance to make sure money will be available. After they have confirmed that money will be available, they will start the procurement process,” the source said.

The State Minister for Higher Education, Dr John Chrysostom Muyingo, said Cabinet approved the plan to purchase radios but declined to give details saying the ministry’s technical team was handling it.

“Finance is talking with Education. Whatever they will have come up with, they will have to come back to Cabinet. That means they will have identified where the money is going to come from,” Dr Muyingo said in an interview.

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In a Cabinet meeting ahead of budget reading this month, it was resolved to keep schools shut as government monitors the Covid-19 curve. During this period, the government promised to facilitate virtual teaching.

Finance response
Mr Jim Mugunga, the Ministry of Finance spokesperson, yesterday said while he had heard the President’s pronouncement twice about the radios, he was not privy to the letters.

“If that policy directive came out after the budget had been read, upon receipt of the directive, the ministry would within the resources, implement the directive,” he said.

pahimbisibwe@ug.nationmedia.com

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