With a few days left to the opening of schools parents are faced with the burden of meeting the school requirements for their children’s education.
The 2018 research by Sauti za Wananchi has revealed that parents say high school fees contributions as the main problem facing their children’s education.
In this report we explore the financial burden of education in Uganda.
In downtown Kampala, the back to school fever is on, parents scrambling through the busy streets, here they can bargain for a cheaper price for their children’s requirement ticking them off one by one.
But that is a small portion of the expenditure they incur for education
Marie Nanyanzi, the programs Officer Sauti Za Wananchi, says that findings show that 8 out of 10 households have children in school with most strained when it comes to school fees.
Depending on the level of education the child, the financial requirements seem to shoot up yearly.
An example of this are the fees parents have to pay at pre- nursery , nursery , primary and finally secondary levels.
Parents with children in pre nursery also called day centres part with 150,000 per month. A parent with a child in nursery school, dependant on whether they are in baby, middle or top class will find themselves paying up to 855,000/- per term. Pupils in primary school will take out of their parents’ pocket 905,000/- while secondary school students take the bulk of 1,265,000/-.
These amounts though do not include school requirements and the children’s basic needs.
Even as they complain of the high fees and extra demands placed on them, parents continue to pay. Some parents say they will gladly pay the higher fees private schools demand because they believe their children get a better education than they would in so called “traditional” or government schools.
Patrick Kaboyo, National Secretary Federation of Non state Education Institutions, FENEI says parents both in private and mostly in public schools need to demand financial accountability from schools.
He says the issue of excessive financial contributions may be tricky to control especially in private schools thus the need for government involvement.