The government has finally released 32.6 billion Shillings to facilitate the safe re-opening and operationalization of public schools as finalists and candidates return to classrooms.
Alex Kakooza, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Education notes that the ministry of finance has released 32.6 billion in form of capitation for the schools to prepare for the opening. “This includes money for primary schools, secondary schools, tertiary institutions, and then the inspection and monitoring grant,” Kakooza said.
The capitation grants are computed based on school enrollment. The government provides 10,000 Shillings for each pupil under the Universal Primary Education (UPE). Those under Universal Secondary Education are allocated 41,000 Shillings and 85,000 Shillings for O’ and A’level respectively. This is in addition to a block grant of 100,000 Shillings per term.
According to the capitation grants expenditure guidelines, 50 percent of the grant is supposed to be used on instructional materials, 30 percent on co-curricular activities, 15 percent spent on school management, maintenance, payment for utilities such as water and electricity, whereas 5 percent on school administration. The funds are released every quarter in any given financial year.
However, there are worries that the funds might take more time to be accessed and eventually used by the school. Filbert Baguma, the Uganda National Teachers’ Association General Secretary, says that the delay will impact the enforcement of Standard Operating Procedures for the schools and that some public schools may not obtain certificates of compliance before the official reopening.
Janet Kataha Museveni, the minister in charge of education, says that to counter delayed access to the funds, several interventions have been put in place to support the private schools to enable them to keep in business. Interventions include among others differing Pay as You Earn Tax, including the education sector under categories of those who can access log terms loans from Uganda Development Bank.