Africa-Press – Uganda. Government has issued tough measures against schools that charged fees more than what was paid in the first term of 2020.
According to a circular from the Ministry of Education and Sports, private and public schools that increased fees must compute the additional increment and consider it as a pre-paid fees for the second term.
Ms Ketty Lamaro, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, yesterday said the increments were illegal.
“For schools where the parents have already paid the “top-up fees”, the charges should be rolled over to the subsequent terms in academic year 2022, as pre-paid fees. I will require all head teachers of the schools affected to issue a circular to all parents communicating the new developments in any case not later than January 17, 2022,” Ms Lamaro said in circular number 13 sent to all schools yesterday.
Schools were closed in March 2020 after the surge of coronavirus in the country.
Some parents had already paid school fees for the term when government closed schools.
In December 2021, the Minister of Education and Sports Janet Museveni issued directives to schools not to increase fees in January 2022 when the education sector is reopened.
However, many private and public schools ignored the directives.
Other schools hid the increment in other charges such as development fees and scholastic materials.
Administrators of schools, especially private schools, blamed the increment of fees on the standard operating procedures to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The schools say they have to use more water and sanitisers.
Others said when they were closed, they continued to pay salaries of teachers and other workers for months and most of the funds were loans.
Ms Lamaro said the schools should have used channels laid down by the Ministry to increase fees.
“In light of the above, all fee increments that have been affected by headteachers constitute unauthorised charges and are hence illegal,” she said.
Ms Lamaro said any school that will fail to adhere to the directives “will leave me with no other option but to take disciplinary action on the errant school authorities.”
She said schools that have specific and unique issues related to fees should follow the laid down procedures.
The education ministry directed that the schools must convene parents’ general meeting within six weeks to discuss the Covid-19 standard operating procedures and the fees structure for the second and third term in 2022.