KAKUMIRO – President Yoweri Museveni has warned schools under the Universal Primary Education (UPE) and Universal Secondary Education (USE) programmes – ordering them to immediately suspend all the illegal extra fees charged from parents.
He warned that chief administrative officers (CAOs), as heads of public servants within their respective districts, must stop the illegal practice or face the law if the directive is not implemented.
Museveni was on the weekend addressing a rally at Kakumiro District in Bunyoro Sub-Region.
Museveni said that when UPE was established in 1997, the aim was to ensure that children from poor families access basic education.
“Education system should not be frustrated by introducing illegal school charges. Out of 8.8 million children who join UPE, only 1.6 of them join USE meaning 7 million children are being blocked. This must be followed up,” he said.
Some schools have suggested to the government that they should be allowed to levy lunch fees as lack of a clear feeding programme in UPE schools has been blamed for the massive dropouts and absenteeism.
Others levy development fees but Museveni says such charges are illegal and a burden to the parents, and should be stopped.
Museveni also commended the success attained through the immunization programme because the infant mortality rate has gone down. He, however, sounded a strong warning to people that are in the habit of stealing Government medical drugs. He also added that the Government will not tolerate land ownership frauds that frustrate bibanja owners.
Regarding the increased agricultural production of sugarcane, milk, and maize among others, the President noted that this was a positive development but strongly called for processing of those products to maximize profits by putting onto markets good quality processed items.
“Produce more, get bigger markets by way of working for the integration of East Africa and Africa,” he stressed.
He used the occasion to sound a strong warning to politicians who are fanning sectarianism based on gender chauvinism and religion, among others, adding that such sectarian tendencies will not help people attain prosperity.
The President assured the people of Kakumiro that Government will upgrade Bireembo Technical School with modern equipment for good training skills, refurbish Bireembo Primary School on top of completing the construction of Bireembo Seed Secondary School.
Lt. Gen. Joram Mugume, on behalf of Gen. Salim Saleh, thanked the people of Birembo for supporting the bush war adding that after the success at Kabamba military barracks, NRA forces had laid the ground that led to the victory in 1986. State Minister for Health and Area Woman MP, Hon. Robinah Nabanja lauded the President for steering development in the area.