Mao: Government should not set fees for private schools

Democratic Party president, Norbert Mao, has blasted government for its directive to private schools stopping them from any further increment of fees.

The Education ministry last week issued strict guidelines in which schools, be it government or private were barred from increasing fees in 2018 without a written authorization from the ministry.

However, according to Mao, the move by government to stop private schools from increasing school fees is being hypocritical because we are in a free economy.

“I don’t think Museveni would allow me set prices for his milk in Rwakitura.It would be gross interference,” Mao told journalists during a weekly party press briefing in Kampala.

“It should be the market to punish Museveni on higher prices and so should be for private schools.”

According to the ‘strict’ guidelines to be followed by school head teachers, the ministry of Education and Sports said it had noted with concern the unrealistic and prohibitive school fees which they said denies access to basic and secondary education to a number of learners.

“…. hence compromising government objective of providing affordable education for all and increasing equitable access to primary and post primary education,” part of the directive from government to head teachers of both public and private schools, read.

The DP president general said government should find a solution to the problem of hiked fees by private schools through investment into public institutions like schools so as to compete fairly with their counterparts.

Mao argued that teachers should be motivated through increment of their salaries, increase capitation grants for pupils and better facilities for the public schools so they can ably compete with their counterparts from the private sector and in turn, the latter would provide affordable education

“The problem exists but government is being hypocritical by preaching the free market economy but dictating fees for schools. Let them improve funding and facilitation for public schools," Mao said.

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