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Gov’t Seeks Shs34bn To Takeover Schools Hit By COVID-19 As 620 Schools Struggle To Survive

Many schools were hit by COVID-19

Government through the Ministry of Education and Sports is seeking Shs34bn to extend grant to 620 schools that have applied to Government for takeover after failing to recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic that saw closure of education institutions for about two years.

The revelation was made by Cuthbert Abigaba, Chairperson Parliament’s Education and Sports Committee, while appearing before Parliament’s Budget Committee while presenting the education and sports sector report on the 2023/2024 National Budget Framework Paper.

Abigaba, who doubles as Kibale County MP informed the Budget Committee that during the scrutiny of the budget, Parliament learnt that in 2021/2022, the Ministry received 620 requests across the country for takeover of community and NGO schools  and the estimated cost to take over a primary school is Shs110M, and that of the secondary school is Shs200M.

“In FY2023/2024, the Ministry of Education and Sports is seeking for Shs34Bn that hasn’t been availed and this money could have been used to grant those primary and secondary schools. You will note that a number of our sub-counties don’t have government secondary schools and this affects all of us. That is why we are recommending that the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development allocates Ministry of Education additional Shs34Bn, for grant aiding both primary and secondary schools,” said Abigaba.

It should be recalled that in March 2020, President Museveni ordered the closure of all education institutions to contain the spread of the COVID-19, a decision that left many schools struggling to operate during the two years closure.

Following the closure of schools, National Planning Authority warned of the drastic impact the closure and pandemic would have on Uganda’s educational sector, warning that about 3,507 primary schools would face closure and these included 1749 in rural and 1,758 in urban areas, thus jeopardizing future of 1,534,000 primary school going children.

At secondary level, a total of 834 (472 urban and 360 rural) poor private schools are likely to face closure due to financial distress thereby putting the future of 390,000 learners at stake.

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