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Private Schools Seek Shs500bn Gov’t Bailout As Education Related Debt Nears Shs2 Trillion

L-R: MPS Michael Mawanda (Igara East) and Christine Sendawula (Kyankwanzi DWR) appearing before  Education Committee

Owners of private schools have asked Government to set up a revolving fund worth Shs5000bn by December 2021 from which they can draw money to facilitate the reopening of schools in January 2022.

Michael Mawanda (Igara East) led the call after appearing before Parliament’s Education Committee that started scrutinizing the motion tabled by Christine Sendawula (Kyankwanzi DWR), urging government to come to the rescue plan of private education institutions after suffering immense financial loss due to effects of Covid19 pandemic lockdowns.

Mawanda said there is need to put in place a mechanism and systems in place that can allow children to go back to school and this would be possible if school owners would be extended funds to help them reopen.

“According to information we have, bank loans are now about Shs1.7Trn, but we aren’t saying Government should shoulder that, we are looking at that component of COVID-19 which comes to about Shs500bn which isn’t a lot of money. Government can be able to restructure something so that these institutions are able to reopen that is for interest. These schools need a fund, if government is reopening in January, there be a fund in December,” said Mawanda.   

While introducing the motion before the Committee, Sendawula said that the continued closure of the schools has left 3500 people unemployed and the relief aid should also include equipment for Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to private schools like sanitisers and temperature guns.

“The education related debt burden is close to Shs2Trn with increasing interest charged at 22% -26% daily. Some schools are at the verge of being auctioned. The loss of revenue has impacted on employment capacity in the private education sector with more than 3500 teachers laid off,” said Sendawula.

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