The State Minister of Higher Education, Dr. John Chrysostom Muyingo has told Members of Parliament that the government is unable to take over the management of new schools in the current financial year due to lack of funds.
Muyingo was responding to a matter of national importance raised by Elijah Okupa, the Kasilo County Member of Parliament during a plenary chaired by Deputy Speaker, Thomas Tayebwa on Tuesday.
Okupa wondered why the government had delayed the takeover of some schools across the country as approved in the 2023/2024 budget. “It is now seven months, no teacher has been recruited in those schools and they have also not been coded, can the Ministry of Education explain to this House?”, Okupa asked.
Subsequently, Tayebwa tasked Muyingo to explain the progress the government has made in taking over the ownership of new schools from foundation bodies including communities and Non-Government Organizations – NGOs.
In response, the Minister explained that the matter was presented to the cabinet and subsequently, the Ministry of Education was directed to look for the money to ensure that every Ugandan child of school-going age is enabled to go to school until he or she completes the education cycle.
According to the Ministry of Education, over 620 schools across the country have submitted applications to be classified and receive state subsidies. “Due to no budgetary constraints, the government cannot take ownership of new schools this financial year,” Muyingo emphasized.
Adding that, “It is a government policy to establish primary schools in every parish and secondary school in every sub-county as well as a University in all the traditional regions of the country but this is only possible with the availability of funds.
Currently, the Education Ministry’s available data reveals that there are 1,617 parishes without a public primary school and 350 sub-counties without a secondary school implying that the government would need at least an initial amount of 110 million shillings to take over ownership of a single primary school, and 400 million shillings for a secondary school.