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Gov’t Wants Charges in UPE, USE Schools Abolished

P.7 candidates of Anaka central primary school being addressed by their school headteacher after their final PLE paper.

The cabinet is proposing free and compulsory Primary and Secondary Education when schools reopen early next year. 

The cabinet that met on Monday agreed that all forms of charges that have been collected from learners in Universal Primary Education-UPE and Universal Secondary Education –USE schools should be abolished.

Dr. Chris Baryomunisi, the Minister in charge of ICT and National Guidance, notes that as one of the measures to address the challenges, learning should be made free to ensure that all learners get an opportunity of returning to school without being incapacitated with charges that are usually levied from them.

However, information obtained by Mega Fm indicates that the decision is directed towards only USE schools and it might not be effected in government-aided non-USE schools most of which are governed by faith-based foundation bodies. 

Dr. Baryomunisi further noted that the cabinet decision has a special interest in secondary education where many learners, even before COVID19, have been finding challenges to join due to the high fees collected from them.

The cabinet decision comes at a time when the National Planning Authority has released a report indicating that at least 4.5 million out of the 15 million learners that were in schools before the COVID-19 pandemic hit Uganda are likely not to return to school.

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