MPs irked by the over Ugx 100 billion presidential pledges in education sector
The education sector is yet to receive Ugx 100 billion in presidential pledges in the 2016/2017 financial year.
Members of Parliament’s education committee reveal that the 18 votes under the Ministry of Education are yet to receive the funds, in spite of reminders to the President to do so.
While meeting the MPs on the committee on April 24, 2017, Professor Joy Kwesiga, the Vice Chancellor of Kabale University revealed that presidential pledges amounting to Ugx 47 billion have accrued since November 2016.
Prof. Kwesiga gave a breakdown of the pledges, explaining that Ugx 10 billion was for the construction of buildings to house the Faculty of Engineering; Ugx 15 billion to construct a university library; Ugx 7 billion to equip the science, engineering and medicine laboratories; as well as Ugx 15 billion to construct a Faculty of Health Sciences.
She revealed that in the 2017/2018 financial year budget, these funds have not been allocated, yet there was an agreement to have the monies allocated in phases over financial years.
Committee vice chairman, Jacob Opolot was bitter with the Office of the President for failing to meet its obligations through budgeting for the funds.
Opolot suggested that the Ministry of Education, Finance and officials from the Office of the President hold a meeting to discuss how government will provide the funds to facilitate development at the institutions.
The committee also met different universities, among them Makerere University.
During the interface, Makerere University Vice Chancellor, Prof. John Ddumba-Sentamu revealed that the university requires more funding towards equipping a new dentistry school.
Prof. Ddumba-Sentamu noted that the university will open the school, under the College of Health Sciences in the new academic year however there are no funds to purchase and run the equipment and pay staff.
He says due to the financial constraints, the university will not admit new students in the new academic year.
In response, Opolot said the committee will scrutinize the institution’s Ugx 388 billion and allocate at least Ugx 300 million to facilitate the dentistry school.