The Ministry of Education has set a target of 77,700 learners, of which 51% will be girls in entry secondary schools under Uganda’s Intergovernmental Fiscal Transfer (UgIFT) scheme.
The ministry conducted a comprehensive mapping exercise in 2015 which revealed that 385 sub-counties had no secondary schools.
The UgIFT program, which saw the government build 117 Seed secondary schools, covers only 259 of these sub-counties.
According to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Kate Lamara, “Since each school has been built to have 6 classrooms each that can accommodate at least 50 students per class, this increases access by 300 learners per school”.
She added: “At the end of the first phase, the program estimates that access will be provided to 35,100 students and at the end of the program, 77,700 learners will have access to education and ministry plans foresee that at least 51% will be women. . This will therefore go a long way to not only improving education outcomes, but also closing the gender gap even further. »
However, since the 2015 mapping exercise, a number of administrative units have emerged.
Lamaro said a new mapping exercise will be needed to establish the number of sub-counties without seed schools.
During the five-year disbursement period, the ministry is expected to receive Ushs. 3,636.5 billion from the program for wage, non-wage and development/construction components.
According to Lamaro, so far the program has paid out Ushs. 1,674 billion to the ministry for the implementation of planned activities.
Lamaro’s speech was read at the launch of Nazigo Seed Secondary School in Kayunga District and Kimenyede Seed Secondary School in Mukono District.
The PS said that the salary is provided for the recruitment of staff from the newly built Seed Secondary Schools; recruitment of staff for primary and secondary schools that fall into the understaffed category; recruitment of additional inspectors for local governments in accordance with the internationally recognized ratio of 1:40 and recruitment of teachers for 51 selected primary schools in local governments hosting refugees.
The non-wage component improves per capita subsidies for UPE from Ushs. 7,000 before the program at Ushs. 20,000; USE which increased by Ushs. 41,000 to Ushs.58,000 and UPOLET which went from Ushs. 80,000 in Ush. 90,000,
“To further strengthen the inspection of schools and educational institutions, the program supports the deployment of the Teacher Effectiveness and Learner Success (TeLA) system in all decentralized public primary, secondary and tertiary institutions,” said said Lamaro.
For the Development component, the Ministry builds, equips and staffs 259 seed secondary schools in 3 phases (117 in Phase I, 115 in Phase II and 27 in Phase III) over a period of 5 years.
The ministry is also constructing and equipping 418 laboratories in existing secondary schools without functional laboratories and completing the construction of incomplete structures in 21 technical and polytechnic schools.
The Minister of Education, Hon. Janet Museveni, recently urged the Ministry of Finance to prioritize the extension of water and electricity to newly built modern secondary schools across Uganda.
“As we implement the Intergovernmental Fiscal Transfer (UgIFT) program, the ministry has observed the challenge of lack of essential amenities such as electricity and water in some start-up schools under construction, mainly in those located in hard-to-reach areas,” Ms. Museveni said.
“I therefore call on the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development which is coordinating the implementation of the program to prioritize the provision of these essential services to schools,” she added.
The facilities of the new schools being commissioned include a multi-purpose hall, three units of classroom blocks, an administrative block, a two-unit science block fully equipped with science kits and chemical reagents, a library, an ICT block and three-unit teachers’ houses. among others – which require a constant supply of electricity.
Officials said ChimpReports the launch of Seed schools also aims to reduce the school dropout rate in Uganda.
Statistics show that out of 10.9 million children at the primary school level, only about two million join the higher education level while the rest do not progress.
Most children drop out of school because education is sold as a commodity, a situation that the Ministry intends to remedy.