Speaker petitioned over high school fees

The Initiative for Social and Economic Rights (ISER) has petitioned the Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga regarding the high tuition and non-tuition fees charged by government-aided schools.

Angela Nabwowe Kasule, the Programmes Director at the Intiatives for Social and Economic Rights said that the petition intends to request Parliament to make an inquiry into the different fees charged by government aided schools.

"Everyone has a right to education and the government is mandated to uphold this for the good of every citizen. Education maintains a balance between the rich and the poor, and should be easily accessed by everyone," Kasule said.

Kasule added that, "When you charge high school fees, you are backtracking on a social good for education because in a country like Uganda very many people will be left out."

She said that there was no justification of government aided schools charging the same fees as private schools.

"We grew up being told to read hard so that we can go to good schools but right now that has been hampered by high school fees which the average working class parents can hardly afford," Kasule said.

She added that all sorts of non-tuition fees were being charged by these schools that did not quite make sense.

In response, the Speaker said that so much emphasis had been put on first generation rights and ignored the second generation rights like education. She added that she was glad to see the new focus on education.

"We have been paying for the building fund in many of the government-aided school but never see buildings going up," Kadaga said, adding that, "I have seen school fees insurance as a separate fee on one of the lists of non tuition fees of a certain school, and I wonder what purpose that fee serves."

The Speaker said that she has encountered the same issue adding that, "I have children coming to me with good marks but no school fees to take them to the good schools."

Kadaga said that there is a need to refocus the purpose of education. She promised to take the petition to the house where it will eventually be brought to the relevant committee for a public hearing.

The Initiative for Social and Economic Rights (ISER) is an independent, non -profit human rights organization responsible for promoting the effective understanding, monitoring, implementation, and realization of economic and social rights in Uganda.

Source: Parliament of Uganda

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