Government through the Ministry of Education releases UGX 72Bn for Schools’ re-opening

The permanent secretary of the education ministry, Alex Kakooza, says sh32b of the allocated funds is part of the candidates’ classes’ capitation grant.
EDUCATION
The Government has released sh52b for the planned reopening of schools this week.

The permanent secretary of the education ministry, Alex Kakooza, says sh32b of the allocated funds is part of the candidates’ classes’ capitation grant.

An additional sh20b will be used to top up schools’ funds to enable them to acquire the materials needed to observe standard operating procedures in this COVID-19 era.

An extra sh20b

Kakooza explained that the education ministry will also receive an additional sh20b from Global Partnership in Education to help in the reopening of schools.

He said, according to the education ministry’s planning, this money is enough for now and should be able to help government-aided schools.

Kakooza said the funds for primary schools are already with the respective local governments, while secondary schools are likely to get the money early this week.

Officials from at least five sampled districts of Mubende, Mityana, Soroti, Kakumiro, and Gulu yesterday confirmed that they received it.

John Kyaboona and Joseph Ssentayi, the district education officer and LC5 boss of Kakumiro respectively, said the money was received last week and it would be passed on to the schools when the week starts.

“Both primary and secondary schools always get their capitation funds channeled through the districts. We will pass it on to the schools next week,” Kyaboona said.

The funds are meant to cater for government-aided schools which will be opening, starting with the finalists and candidates on October 15.

On March 20, 2020, President Yoweri Museveni ordered the closure of all schools and educational institutions in order to curb the spread of COVID-19.

An estimated 15 million learners in 73,240 institutions and 548,192 teachers were affected.

The state minister for higher education also said the funds will be vital in supporting schools reopen for the candidates and finalists.

Capitation grants

The Minister of Education and Sports, Mrs. Janet Museveni, had earlier asked the Ministry of Finance to prepare and send to schools’ capitation grants for the third term.

Mrs. Museveni had also written to the President, advising that government-aided schools be allowed to keep the money the Government has sent to them for term two, to be able to keep the schools in a good shape and pay off the accruing bills.

In an exclusive interview with Vision Group a couple of weeks ago, when asked if public schools had enough funds to reopen, she said, “They will be taken care of.”

“The major drivers for additional costs in reopening of education institutions under the COVID-19 standard operating procedures include handwashing facilities, disinfection equipment, temperature monitoring equipment, and provision of face masks. These would be things that would drive the costs higher,” the First Lady said.

She added: “We are confident that the government-aided schools can meet these costs using the capitation grants we avail them and private schools can meet these costs using the school fees they will be charging. We believe it will not be necessary to build new infrastructure and recruit additional staff, which would drive the costs into trillions of shillings.”

Source: New Vision