LoP urges govt to increase capitation grant for primary schools

KAMPALA, February 7, 2024 – The Leader of the Opposition in Parliament [LoP], Joel Ssenyonyi has urged the Finance ministry to increase the capitation grant for government-aided primary schools, arguing that the current Shs 20,000 per pupil per annum is insufficient.

The capitation grant for schools under Universal Primary School [UPE] is supposed to be used to procure instructional materials such as chalk and stationery that are not supplied by government.

Ssenyonyi said schools in Uganda compete at the international level, and therefore need adequate funding from government. “We expect good standards from these schools, to operate and compete at international level, it is not possible, I hope we can review it,” said Ssenyonyi.

He added that securing a good future for learners is done through quality education.

To make matters worse, Ssenyonyi said that even the insufficient capitation grant is not released in a timely manner.

He raised the matter yesterday during plenary sitting chaired by Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa.

Ssenyonyi who made reference to the new school term that started on Monday this week, said that several schools have failed to open because of unavailability of funds. “I do not know why we delay to send this money and yet we know when the schools will open,” Ssenyonyi said.

MP Laura Kanushu who represents persons with disabilities [PWDs] also raised concern over absence of learning materials for pupils with disabilities in government aided schools, saying that as a result, these learners with special needs end up as the worst performers.

She said that 99 percent of schools for pupils with disabilities are government aided and yet they are operating without learning materials.

“I think as a government, we have decided that PWDs should not go to school or if they go, they should fail. How can we deny children learning material?” she asked.

The Minister of State for Finance, Planning and Economic Development [General Duties, Henry Musasizi, said that the delay in release of the capitation grant to schools is occasioned by delays at the Local Government level.

“When we release the capitation grant to districts, we expect local governments to warrant and sometimes districts take their time. Some schools have already received funds, others are still in the process of warranting,” he said.

He added that government already released Shs 134 billion in the third quarter for capitation grant.

Deputy Speaker Tayebwa guided the minister to make a statement on the matter on Tuesday, 13 February 2024, with emphasis on performance of learners with disabilities.

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