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The Deputy Speaker of Parliament Thomas Tayebwa has directed the Ministry of Education and Sports to institute punitive sanctions against schools that are charging exorbitant school fees as the first term begins. 

The Deputy Speaker said during yesterday’s plenary session as parliament extensively handled the matter on schools fees.

Tayebwa said there are very many complaints regarding fees circulars from various schools, including government and private schools and the situation seems to be getting worse and some of the school fees being charged are totally prohibitive.

Tayebwa has since directed the Ministry of Education and Sports to present a statement on punitive measures being put on schools that have defied government directives on fees.

Currently, many schools in Uganda, both public and private are charging what some parents have described as exorbitant fees without such regulations, something that has put a toll on the income of many parents.

This has made quality education affordable and accessible to a selected few learners across the country.

Although the government is implementing Universal Primary Education (UPE) and Universal Secondary Education (USE), some of the public schools continue to charge high fees.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Party (DP) has advised the Government to come up with a policy setting minimum and maximum limits schools should charge as fees from parents.

This, they say, would help curb “exorbitant” fees charged by schools, especially those which are privately owned.

Addressing journalists at their headquarters at City House in Kampala, Uganda Young Democrats (UYD) president Ismail Kirya said the current open-ended policy adopted by schools, leaves a big vacuum for school owners to exploit parents some of whom he said are vulnerable.

Kirya explained that as schools opened for the first term on Monday, parents were busy pleading for mercy in different offices.

This, he said, affects learners’ psychology which, according to him, later accounts for poor performance in schools.

He demanded that the fees limits be matched with Government expectations from schools which would ensure academic excellence in the country, given the fact that schools shall be made to deliver to the expectations.

Last year, Speaker of Parliament Anita Among called for the establishment of a policy to harmonise school fees in the country.

Among said the current lack of regulation has resulted in schools setting their fees arbitrarily, leading to significant disparities across the education sector beyond what parents can afford.

She called for an urgent policy to harmonise school fees and promote access to education for all.

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