The boss of the Ministry of Education speaks out on the rise in tuition fees

With just hours to go before the official opening of the third term, several parents have yet to come to terms with this newspaper’s revelation that a number of schools have raised tuition fees.

The Ministry of Education and Sports has just confirmed that it is still working on the instrument that would guide schools on the right path forward.

Speaking to the Sunday Monitor on the sidelines of the launch of capacity building for in-demand training in technical and vocational education (TVET) on Friday, the ministry’s permanent secretary, Ms Ketty Lamaro, said the government was still working on an instrument that helps to solve the problem in question.

“We will let you know as soon as possible,” Ms. Lamaro said.

In May, Mrs Janet Museveni – the First Lady, who is also Minister for Education and Sports – revealed that her ministry had drafted legislation to regulate tuition fees and other charges in educational institutions.

“My ministry will soon undertake to consult with various stakeholders on the statutory instrument we have developed to regulate tuition fees and other charges in our educational institutions,” the First Lady said.

“Once this exercise is completed and the instrument has gone through the necessary processes, the government will be in a better position to regulate tuition fees and other charges,” she explained.

As the country waits for the instrument, economically constrained parents continue to face the prospect of rising fees, most of which are not approved by the Ministry of Education and Sports as required by law. . The increases, as we reported this week, range from Shs 30,000 to Shs 100,000 in addition to other requirements.

Many principals said the increases are caused by current inflationary pressures which have more than doubled their operating costs.

The latest consumer price index from the Uganda Bureau of Statistics, for example, recorded sharp increases in the prices of maize flour and beans which make up the vast majority of students’ calorie intake.

Commenting on the capacity building project for demand-driven TVET, Ms. Lamaro said the project would complement other government programs aimed at tackling youth unemployment, such as Skilling Uganda.

Mr. John Chrysostom Muyingo, the Junior Higher Education Minister, commended the Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industries and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) for their support and urged Ugandans, including professionals , to adopt vocational training to acquire skills and strengthen their meager income.

“Even you journalists can join any of our professional training institutions in the country, learn a skill that can help you earn more money. You cannot get rich when you only rely on one source of income,” Mr. Muyingo advised.

Korea’s Ambassador to Uganda, Mr. Park Sung Soo, said the demand-driven TVET project will enable 2,400 students to benefit from short courses at selected vocational training centers. Institutions include vocational training institutions in Arua, Iganga, Kiryandongo, Mubende, Ntinda and Nyakatare.

The deadline to apply for the fully funded scholarships is December 16. Successful applicants will complete six-month courses in fashion and apparel design, welding and fabrication, plumbing, automotive mechanics, and electrical installation systems and maintenance.