If you are a struggling parent, you are counseled to brace for yet more tougher times starting the peeping school term. Unpleasant news hitting our desk indicate how majority of school owners including line minister, Chrysostom Muyingo, have contrived to up the fees chargeable.
To rub salt into septic injury, government has cleared an increase in fares charged by private taxi and bus operators. This means, parents on top of meeting the new fees` structure, they will also have to top up on the new taxi fares cleared by the government.
The current fares have been increased by an average of UGX2000. The increase has been necessitated by an increase of fuel prices which has seen a liter of diesel shooting to UGX 5000 and beyond.
The increase in school fees is pretty distressing news. For one, the increment has arrived barely two weeks to the start of the second term. This ideally means, parents will have to make do with loan sharks to whom, they will possibly lose properties in the end.
Other parents will have to delay returning their children to school, in order to hunt for the extra money, schools require of them. But in the process, end up subjecting their children to problems of catching up with colleagues who are going to beat the deadline of returning to the schools.
Majority of Ugandans have been struggling to get by, on account of the ever-increasing commodity prices, let alone fuel. This state of affairs has, needless to state, led to an increase in the cost of living. The increase in fees will surely pile more misery on the already miserable parents. Put differently, the increase in fees is going to hit many parents with school-going children, like a thunder out of the blue
The line minister, Chrysostom Muyingo, not to mention many of his colleagues, cannot do anything to stem the increase in school fees. This is because they are conflicted parties, being owners of schools themselves!
This is why Muyingo and colleagues have been giving lip-service to this big problem each time it has been raising its ugly head, to the detriment of parents and guardians.
“Schools aren’t allowed to increase school fees without recourse to the ministry,” Muyingo has always stated each time the school owners have come up with hiked fees. But truth be told, the minister has been flattering to deceive virtually on each and every occasion he has come out and pretended to be on the side of the aggrieved parents.
By telling school owners to resort to the ministry for permission to increase, or not to increase the fees chargeable, Muyingo has been behaving like a deceitful monkey which advises those wishing to burn down the forest, to first report the matter to him!
For, how can any sane person expect a monkey to sit in judgment of burning a forest where it stays and roams for what to eat, honestly? Revealingly, higher there on the list of schools which have altered the fees upwards include Seeta High Group of schools whose owner is none, but the Catholic faithful, Muyingo himself.
Students of Seeta High Green Campus were last term charged UGX1.7m. Parents will, following an adjustment in fees payable next term, have to fork out an added UGX250,000 for their children to access education at Muyingo’s schools.
But in hindsight, you forgive the school owners. They buy from the expensive market where every one of us buy from. So, they aren’t expected to charge less, yet they are buying posho and beans, for instance, at higher prices.
In any case, our government charges private schools, exorbitant taxes. As a result, the school owners, in order to remain in business, respond by passing some of the taxes onto the parents – who are innocent in this scheme of things. Our leaders are so unreasonable that they even put taxes on much-needed school requirements such as those used in teaching sciences and also on textbooks.
Whilst some of the governments within the region assisted schools with funds and subsidized taxes following the outbreak of Covid-19, Uganda declined to do so! Government stated there was no way it could come in since it liberalized the education sector.
But this is the usual excuse our leaders throw around each time they are asked to step in and balance the economy. Yet they keep burning billions of funds by throwing it to dubious investors who never do what they are given the billions of monies for. Accordingly, one can see clearly that the problem starts and ends with the regime yet it ends up affecting all of us.
Bukedde newspaper helped to compile a list of schools which hiked the fees. These are some of them. St Joseph Naggalama’s new fees structure for S3 students is UGX 1,894,000 up from UGX1,694,000.
S6 candidates of Buddo SS will have to pay UGX1,610,000 up from UGX1,300,000. Mukono based Seroma Christian High School (UGX1,500,000 from 1,200,000) and Gombe (UGX1,120,00 from UGX950,000).
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