Janet seeks Shs1.6 trillion for refugee learners
What you need to know:
- The Permanent Secretary of the Education ministry, Ms Ketty Lamaro, said in the First Term of 2023, the primary schools in the refugee camp settlements had a total of 360,055 children, up from 212,462 last year.
- Ms Lamaro said the number of learners in secondary schools also increased to 28,665 while learners in nursery schools increased to 80,643.
The Minister of Education and Sports, Ms Janet Kataha Museveni, yesterday revealed that Shs1.6 trillion ($450m) is needed to implement the second education response plan (ERP) which is slated to benefit more than 600,000 learners within the refugee camps and host communities.
While launching the programme at State House in Nakasero yesterday, Ms Museveni said the first phase, which cost approximately Shs842.2b ($225.9m) has seen the number of learners increase in both primary and secondary schools.
“Through the cost activities, the ERP contributed to the coordination, planning, data collection and information management. As a result, the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) of refugees in primary school improved from 58.2 percent in 2017/2018 to 88.5 percent in 2020/2021,” she said.
The Permanent Secretary of the Education ministry, Ms Ketty Lamaro, said in the First Term of 2023, the primary schools in the refugee camp settlements had a total of 360,055 children, up from 212,462 last year.
Ms Lamaro said the number of learners in secondary schools also increased to 28,665 while learners in nursery schools increased to 80,643.
“During Term One of 2023, significant progress was made in terms of infrastructure development. As a result, 317 classrooms and 483 latrine stances were constructed among others,” Ms Lamaro said.
However, Ms Museveni indicated that whereas the number of learners increased, the learning outcomes are still low.
“While the first Education Response Plan contributed to improvements in educational access, streamlining and attracting support for refugees and host communities in Uganda, I have learned that the Refugee Hosting Districts experienced low learning outcomes and limited skills training,” the Education boss said.
It is against that background that the ministry and development partners are mooting for more funds to reach a large number of both the refugees and host communities.
“I am now informed that the second education response plan was collaboratively developed to reach an average of 674,895 beneficiaries annually from financial whereas the Ministry of Education need approximately Shs1.6 trillion ($450m) for the second phase,’’ Ms Lamaro said, adding that they have already secured Shs447.4b ($120m) from various development partners.
The Minister for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, Mr Hilary Onek, decried the reduced funding for refugees from development partners.
“I call upon the partners to step up the funding to sustain this good policy of hosting refugees. In June, we are slated to host a regional meeting with ministers within the region to come up with lasting solutions,’’ Mr Onek said.
Dr Mohamed El Munir, the UNICEF representative to the Republic of Uganda, commended the Education ministry for ensuring that the number of refugees accessing education increases. He committed more support.
Meanwhile, Ms Museveni asked parents to make the home a safe haven for children and make sure the children have something to eat and protect them from the vices of teenage pregnancy, child marriages and defilement.
She said parents should create time to speak to children so that they do not learn everything from their peers or the Internet and erode morals.