ISER Petitions parliament over hiked Tuition in Gov’t Schools
The Initiative for Social and Economic rights, ISER a non-profit organisation has petitioned the speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga challenging high tuition and non-tuition fees charged by government aided schools.
The organisation has so far raised over 180 signatures of Ugandans both at home and abroad premised on 13 grounds including constitutional provisions and other government measures to extend education to its citizens.
“Education is a social good…therefore government has a responsibility to ensure access for all regardless of status and social background,” reads part of the petition.
The petition further cites the introduction of universal secondary education and the fact that government shoulders wages of teachers in government-aided schools and that there is no need for hiking schools fees.
“The breakdown of the fess structure is problematic…non-tuition charges like development fees and entrance fees among others need to be justified,” the petition states. This petition comes at the time parents are raising concerns over high tuition fees charged by government aided schools that range between Ugx 800,000 and Ugx 1.8 million.
Ms Angella Nabwowe Kasule, the ISER Programs Director told the Speaker that this is a threat to the poor citizenry since it makes no difference compared to their private counterparts.
“The high fees charged by these government aided schools defeats the spirit of the Sustainable Development Goals of ‘Leaving No One Behind,’…[and] we there fore request that the Parliament of Uganda makes an inquiry into the issue of the different kinds of fees..” she said.
ISER petitioners hold a view that parliament inquiries will inform recommendations to the Ministry of Education and Sports.
Meanwhile the Speaker promised to follow up the petition saying that many children have fallen victim yet most of the fees charged are unnecessary.
“Some of these fees like internet I doubt that children access the internet…it is good that now you have come up, parliament will direct the respective committee to follow up this matter,” said Kadaga.
The speaker also hailed ISER for paying attention to second generation rights such as education as opposed to previously fronted concerns of the first generations such as political rights and right to freedom of expression.