The Speaker of Parliament, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, has expressed shock that Uganda National Examinations Board charges registration fees for candidates in private schools, saying it is segregative.
The exam body charges Shs34,000 for PLE candidates, Shs164,000 for Senior Four students and Shs186,000 for Senior Six.
“I am surprised and shocked that a government body, though autonomous, charges fees for national exams on children simply because their parents chose to help government pay tuition outside universal education programme,” Ms Kadaga said at the weekend while meeting Kamuli District education officials.
Her remarks were in response to the Kamuli private schools directors under the district federation of non State Education Institutions, who said their biggest challenge was that candidates find it difficult to pay the registration fees.
Ms Kadaga said she would raise the matter in the House to address the disparity.
According to the Speaker, there are no private children or learners, but only private schools which supplement government education service delivery.
Ms Kadaga pledged to support the private schools Sacco.
The chairperson of private schools in Kamuli, Mr George Byantuyo, presented a memorandum to the Speaker which stated that Uneb policies undermine their existence and plays double standards.
For instance, they said Uneb insists on students who have not paid tuition but were registered to sit for final exams yet it only allows private schools to pay for national exams.
“Madam Speaker, Uneb has gone out of its mandate of managing national exams to being used as a money collector for other government agencies leading to high school drop-outs,” the memorandum reads in part.
on new curriculum
Kamuli private school teachers called for practical and integration of ICT in the teaching and introduction of Swahili in the new curriculum.
“According to National Curriculum Development Centre, the new curriculum is more practical but our ICT facilities are not developed and there are no Swahili teachers,” they said.
The private schools protested a proposal for them to buy copies of the syllabi, saying they all use it and pay taxes.