Govt releases grant ahead of schools reopening

The Ministry of Education and Sports has bowed to pressure and released part of the capitation grant for all government-aided schools to ready them ahead of reopening in January.


The heads of government-aided schools have been pushing the government to release the grants to refurbish schools that have fallen into sorry state following their closure four months back. The Commissioner for Secondary Education, Mr Sam Kuloba, said the funds should be used to buy instructional materials, slash bushy compounds, and cater for other administrative costs.

“We have instructed the chief administrative officers (CAOs) to release 50 percent of capitation grants to all schools across the country to prepare for reopening next year,” Mr Kuloba said on Friday during the closure of Senior One and Senior Five selection exercise at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds in Kampala.

We are going to follow up with the CAOs to ensure this money is released to school accounts as soon as possible,” he added. Mr Kuloba said the balance will be sent to school accounts when all educational institutions reopen next year.

The capitation grant for Universal Primary Education per pupil, per year, is Shs17,000. These are supposed to be used to procure instructional materials such as chalk and stationery that are not supplied by the government.

In addition, each UPE-implementing primary school received a fixed grant of Shs1.3 million per annum to cater for fixed costs.
This grant helps the schools maintain their facilities and pay for utility bills during the year. This means that with the 50 percent, each UPE school will receive Shs650,000.

Meanwhile, the annual Capitation Grant for students in the Universal Secondary Education Programme is Shs174,000 for students in O-Level and Shs255,000 for those in A-Level.

Initially, the government had instructed CAOs to release the funds only to tertiary institutions that were cleared to reopen next week on Monday and revealed that the capitation grant for primary and secondary schools would be released two weeks before reopening.

But the heads of schools and teacher’s associations protested this move, arguing that the government should release the funds two months before reopening to enable schools prepare.

The Secretary-General of Uganda National Teachers Union UNATU, Mr Filbert Baguma, during the Teacher’s Day celebration at Kololo in Kampala this month, informed the government that most schools had become bushy and dirty because there was no money for their maintenance during the lockdown.

The chairperson of the Secondary Schools Head teacher’s Association, Mr Martin Okiria Obore, asked the government to bail out some private schools with some capitation grants to prepare for reopening.
He said the majority of these have gone without any school fees from parents, hence do not have funds to enable them to reopen safely.

At the selection exercise, the government also revealed that textbooks for the new Lower Secondary Curriculum are ready and will be flown into the country soon. The government implemented the new Lower Secondary Curriculum last year.

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