THE Government will provide an additional sh18b for Universal Secondary Education (USE) in the next financial year. This was announced by the Commissioner for Education Planning, Arnold Dhatemwa.
He said the finance ministry had agreed to release extra funding to enable USE students to proceed to Senior Two. Members of Parliament last week expressed concern that new students would not be able to enroll in the USE programme next year when the sh120b required was not found.
â€œThe sh120b was a planning figure before we carried out a head count,â€ Dhatemwa explained. He said the Government had raised the pass mark, which led to a lower number of eligible students.
â€œThis reduced the pressure on our resources because the number of beneficiaries went down from the anticipated 250,000 students to 155,176.â€
He also said they had put in place efficiency measures to cut costs. â€œThe gap in funding is not so serious that we have to stop the programme,â€ he stressed.
He clarified that the sh18b was on top of the sh30b already allocated to the USE programme.
He also announced that money for the next financial and academic year was ensured, enabling for new students to be enrolled.
â€œIn principal, we have agreed with the Ministry of Finance that this money will be available,â€ he said.
The whole secondary education is expected to receive sh155b in the next financial year.
For Universal Primary Education, sh392b will be made available, while the tertiary sector is to receive sh25b.
He stressed that USE would go on as planned. â€œWe shall use the available resources to cover the number of students enrolled,â€ he said.
The MPs noted that although the overall education budget was expected to increase from sh720b to sh752b in the next financial year, the money also had to cater for primary teachersâ€™ wages and for USE.
Government finds more money for USE