Fees increment: Govt to close errant schools

Pupils share food during lunchtime at school. Private schools are set to increase fees. Photo / Joseph Kiggundu

What you need to know:

  • A mini-survey conducted by Monitor last week shows that some schools in Wakiso, Mukono and Kampala areas have increased fees by between Shs100,000 and Shs600,000.

Government has vowed to close schools that will defy its proposed policy on fees increment.
In 2021, the Education ministry issued a circular barring private schools from hiking fees. The communication sought to bar private institutions from increasing school fees or any other charges without permission from the Education ministry.

However, early this month, Mr Hasadu Kirabira—the chairperson of the National Private Education Institution Association (NPEIA)—scoffed at the Education ministry’s policy that put caps on fees across different levels. Mr Kirabira said, if left unchecked, the policy will push private proprietors out of business.

In a telephone interview with Monitor yesterday, Mr Yusuf Muziransa, the spokesperson of the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC), a government agency mandated to fight discrimination and inequality in all its form, said since some parents say they cannot afford to pay fees that some schools are levying, it is government’s responsibility to ensure the fees are commensurate to the economic situation in the country.

“Some schools are saying they will not accept to go by that policy. A policy is a law and once it is passed, it is effected. Schools have to respect it and if they don’t, the repercussion are there. They can be closed,” Mr Muziransa said.

He also noted that the Equal Opportunities Act gives the commission powers to have a discussion with errant schools, summon them to answer to the issues of discrimination and marginalisation or refer them to other government institutions such as the police for further action.

“If we let schools hike fees, there is a section of people who will not afford school fees and, therefore, will be left out. Many learners might drop out of school and at the end of the day, this creates marginalisation and discrimination,” he said.

He urged parents to report schools that have increased fees so that necessary action can be taken. 
Meanwhile, the Speaker of Parliament, Ms Anita Among, has called on government to exercise its regulatory role and ensure no arbitrary school fees increments are effected. 

“As we brace ourselves for the reopening of the new school term, concerns are rising over school fees hikes. This is in breach of various previous circulars issued by the Ministry of Education. Any such school fees increment will be in total disregard of the prevailing social economic realities,” Ms Among said during plenary yesterday. 

A mini-survey conducted by this publication last week shows that some schools in Wakiso, Mukono and Kampala areas have increased fees by between Shs100,000 and Shs600,000.

This has caused panic among affected parents, whose economic muscle has already been weakened by the high cost of living. 


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