KAMPALA – The Ministry of Education and Sports has warned head teachers against taking advantage of the half-term, clarifying it was accorded to schools that are meant to serve as marking centres for the 2020 national exams.
Uganda National Examinations Board – Uneb – selected 40 schools, mainly within Kampala, Wakiso, and Mukono districts serve as marking centres – in an exercise that starts, today. The affected schools were meant to official break-off on Friday.
However, according to Education Ministry sources, some of the affected schools had allegedly requested parents to pay for a fresh term as their children returned – it would be a continuation.
Other schools, outside the Uneb arrangement, were to, according the same source, too taking advantage to break-off to ‘gain economically’ by demanding for extra dues when the students return for continuation of the term.
But the Education and Sports Ministry was swift on learning the tricky situation. Permanent Secretary, Alex Kakooza, promptly issued a circular indicating that the half-time was strictly for schools that would serve as marking centres, which shouldn’t be considered as a normal holiday between two school-terms.
“…the half term is a special break for some schools, coming in the course of one school term for a special purpose, the marking of national examinations,” noted Kakooza, highlighting further that on the completion of the marking exercise, students should return to their respective schools to continue with their academic term as scheduled, and at no extra cost.
“This implies that when learners return to school from the half term break, parents who had completed school fees shall not be required to pay again.
“You should therefore not charge parents new school fees after the half-term break as if it’s a new term,” stressed Kakooza in the circular.
The ministry’s revised calendar for schools hosting marking centres, indicate that all learners were expected to return home on April 23.
At the selected primary schools, pupils in P.4, P.5, and P.6 will return on May 11 and study up to June 14 when they will officially break off and wait for the new academic year.
Learners in S.1 will resume their studies on May 31 while their counterparts in S.3 and S.5 will get back to school on June 8. The three classes will study up to July 24.