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Watch out setting UPE fees

By Vision Reporter

Added 28th January 2001 03:00 AM

THE woes of the Ugandan teacher continue. Up to 490 teachers in Masindi district remain unpaid, according to last week's reports.

By Anthony Mugeere THE woes of the Ugandan teacher continue. Up to 490 teachers in Masindi district remain unpaid, according to last week's reports. The teachers are owed sh209m in salary arrears. Officials say some arrears are a result of underpayment and lack of documentation to support teachers' claims. Quite an absurd development if we are to believe Abel Odong-Okok, the senior personnel officer in the Ministry of Public Service, . The money accumulated over the last seven years - indicating that the government needs to improve on record- keeping. But not all is in tatters at the Ministry of Education and Sports headquarters. A statutory instrument that makes it a crime for primary schools to impose additional charges without authority from government has been signed. The instrument requires those who wish to impose additional charges to seek permission from the ministry with satisfactory reasons, among other things. No wonder, President Yoweri Museveni has already cautioned headteachers against asking for lunch and building funds. The long awaited Kyambogo University will open this year, according to President Yoweri Museveni. In a speech read for him by Kiddhu Makubuya, the Minister of Education and Sports at a graduation ceremony of 836 students last Thursday, Museveni said that all is now set to inaugurate the country's 11th university - the result of a merger of the Institute of Teacher Education Kyambogo (ITEK), the Uganda Polytechnic Kyambogo (UPK) and the Uganda National Institute for Special Education (UNISE) this year. More universities, more opportunities, but not for the students of the Mukono Vocational Training School. The school is closing due to financial problems following the withdrawal of funding by the Norwegian government, which financed its establishment four years ago. The Church of Uganda-founded school can no longer carry on lessons and plans to relocate students when they report in January. UPE implementors have to scratch their heads a bit longer if they are to come up with practical ways of curbing the embezzlement of school funds. Prof. Sam Tulya-Muhika, the managing director of International Development Consultants, says there is widespread embezzlement of UPE funds and they have the report to prove it. Makerere University private students have turned their cause political by petitioning President Yoweri Museveni over their failure to sit for examinations because of high fees. The sky, however, appears to be the limit for the Islamic University in Uganda (IUIU) in Mbale after it unveiled plans to establish offshore campuses in other parts of Africa. Ends.

Watch out setting UPE fees

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