By Ivan Mwine
The government of Uganda has directed all administrators of learning institutions not to demand school fees from parents who had cleared students’ dues prior to the closure of schools as a one of the measures to fight the spread of COVID-19.
President Yoweri Museveni last week issued a directive for closure of all schools, universities and tertiary institutions for 42 days in a bid to curtail the spread of the pandemic among learners, after several students had tested positive for the virus.
The Presidential directive left several parents crying foul, with many of them complaining that schools were closed at a time when they had just completed paying school fees for their children.
However, as a way of relieving them of the huge financial burden, the Ministry of Education and Sports has since issued new directives barring school owners and administrators of educational institutions from collecting fees from parents who had cleared all dues for their children.
The directives were issued in a circular from the Education Ministry titled ‘New Guidelines for School Fees Collection Upon Reopening’, which states in part thus;
“Learners will report and complete the remaining part of the term without paying additional fees, in case they had already completed the interrupted term’s fees.
P.1, P.2 and P.3 Learners will pay the fees for a normal term when they report for the academic year.”
“Students who were Expected to Report on June 7th, for a special term, that is P.6, S.3 and S.5 will report and pay fees proportionate to the shorter term. For avoidance of doubt, no school should charge more than 60% of the previous standard term’s fees for this special term of seven weeks,” the circular continues.
The Ministry also revealed in the new circular that leaners in P.6, S.3 and S.5 who had reported back to schools that hosted UNEB Marking will resort and complete the remaining part of the term without paying any additional fees.
In the same vein, the Ministry has advised administrators of universities and tertiary institutions to; “Strengthen online studies and work closely with the National Council for Higher Education to ensure successful completion of ongoing semester programs.”
According to the Ministry of Health , results of COVID-19 tests done on 07 June 2021 confirmed 842 new cases, bringing the cumulative confirmed cases to 55,511, out of which 402 have died of COVID-19 related cases, while 47,760 have recovered .
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