By John Agaba
Education minister, Jessica Alupo, has defended finance minister's move to levy taxes on private education institutions saying it would improve the quality of education.
The finance minister introduced the tax in her budget speech last week.
Economic analysts have condemned the move saying the new taxes on private education institutions will raise the cost of education in the country.
However, much of this cost has to be borne by parents at the end of the day, they say.
But, Alupo, while opening the 2014 African regional conference on business and technical education in Kampala on Wednesday defended Kiwanuka’s intelligence.
“Funds accruing from these new taxes will be reverted to the national treasury and will impact on the budget of education and sports. They will be used to improve the quality of education in the country,” Alupo said.
She reiterated Government’s stand that schools should not hike fees because of the new tax.
The education sector was allocated sh1.69 trillion for 2014/2015 fiscal year.
Alupo said a total of sh68b has been earmarked to improve business and technical vocational subjects.
“The challenge we have is the attitude, that vocational subjects are for academic failures, but we are slowly changing this,” Alupo said.
She said that they are engaging all providers of vocational hands on skills to improve the Skilling Uganda program which started about two years ago.
“We have $75m from the Arab World and an additional $28m from the Government of Belgium to expand our technical institutions and to train more tutors,” Alupo said.
She said the ministry was also constructing more 22 vocational training institutions throughout the country.
John Twesigye, the Uganda Business and Technical Examinations Board executive secretary, said: “Our target is to equip everyone with practical skills so that even if they are from University and they don’t have jobs, they can start something by themselves. We do not want to find the youth on streets that they are looking for jobs.”
The conference was attended by education experts from the East and Central African region.
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