Parliament of Uganda has committed to ensuring its budgets for free education in the next budget process Financial Year 2023/24.
The commitment was made by the Speaker of Parliament Anita Among, during the presentation of the 2022/2023 financial year budget by the Minister of Finance, Hon. Matia Kasaija at the Kololo Ceremonial grounds on 14th June 2022.
This followed President Museveni’s appeal after the presentation of the Budget for FY 2022/2023, to the political class to support Government’s efforts toward the budget for free compulsory Primary school education.
The President was concerned that in the whole country, the primary school completion rate is at 38 percent, according to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics. He said that while on a recent tour in Moroto, he discovered that the primary school completion rate is at six percent.
An estimated 240,000 pupils who are enrolled in primary one under the Universal Primary Education (UPE) drop out before reaching Primary four, according to a study carried out by the Ministry of Education and Sports and Elevate- an education NGO.
The study was carried out in 150 Government-funded primary schools across the country.
According to the findings, it is estimated that 8 percent-representing 80,000 learners studying in UPE schools across the country drop out of school every year. As such many of them do not make it to upper primary. The study was carried out over a two-year period from 2017 to 2018.
Data from the ministry of education shows that on average one million learners every year enroll in primary education. However, at the end of the seven-year cycle, only 600,000 pupils sit for Primary Leaving Examinations. This number reduces to 300,000 at Uganda Certificate of Education and later to 100,000 students at Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education.
Museveni appealed to Parliament to budget for compulsory primary and secondary school education. He noted that this move would help address the issue of some greedy teachers sending children back home whose aim is to look for money through schools.
‘We must budget for compulsory primary school education and stop these greedy teachers from sending children back home,’ said President Yoweri Museveni.
He added; “Children drop out of school because of school charges. It is disgusting to send children out of school because we are looking for allowances. We must say no. Let us budget and stop these greedy fellows from collecting money. This is what I wanted from 1997, but I cannot do it alone,”