DP wants schools to provide detailed fee breakdowns

DP wants schools to provide detailed fee breakdowns
Ismail Kirya

Democratic Party (DP) has demanded that schools charging exorbitant fees provide a detailed breakdown of their fee structures, as the party calls for the establishment of a law to regulate school fees.

These statements were made during a media briefing held in Kampala on Tuesday.

Ismail Kiirya, the President of Uganda Young Democrats (UYD) and the acting spokesperson of DP highlighted the lack of government regulations on school fees and criticised the apparent unwillingness of the government to address the issue.

"We need a law regulating school fees. Let all those charging exorbitantly come out and explain what they charge for. We are aware that the government lacks the will to regulate because they own these schools," he stated.

Last week, Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa ordered the punishment of schools that charge exorbitant fees to parents.

Kiirya further criticised the government's ownership of schools, suggesting that it may be a contributing factor to the lack of regulations.

He called on the Deputy Speaker to recognise the ineffectiveness of mere discussions without concrete action.

To address the issue, UYD plans to petition the office of the Speaker to establish maximum fees payment in schools.

"We need a predetermined amount that cannot be exceeded in all schools, ensuring it is documented instead of just talking about the issue without taking any action," Kiirya said.

Turning attention to the Sugar Amendment Bill 2023, Kiirya highlighted the intense debate that took place in parliament.

The bill, designed as an amendment to a previous Act, aimed to create a regulatory body for the sugar industry.

However, the government proposed replacing the initial board with a council funded by a sugar levy charged on millers.

This proposal caused controversy, leading to the deferral of the bill's discussion until the following Tuesday, pending input from the Attorney General.

Kiirya expressed concerns about the bill's effectiveness in achieving its objectives.

He stressed the need for legislation to regulate sugar prices at the factory level and emphasized the importance of fair pricing for the industry.

Kiirya pointed out that the previous proposal, which involved government funding for the regulatory board, would have provided a fair and independent mechanism for regulating the sugar industry.

However, the shift towards a council funded by a levy imposed on millers raised concerns.

Kiirya argued that this change would grant excessive power to millers, potentially leaving sugar farmers at their mercy.

The council's decisions on funding could be influenced by the millers' interests, rather than serving the industry as a whole.

Kiirya reminded the government of the significant contributions made by the sugar industry to the consolidated fund, emphasizing that it deserved government funding.

He questioned the government's decision to fund agencies that did not contribute while neglecting the sugar board, which played a pivotal role in the country's economy.

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