OVER 200,000 Senior One students enrolled under the free secondary education programme are to flood schools today.
The Universal Secondary Education programme takes off with a call to parents to provide their children with meals and scholastic materials.
The commissioner for secondary education in the Ministry of Education, Yusuf Lubega, appealed: â€œWe ask parents to provide their children with lunch, uniforms and medical care, while we give them the essential textbooks.â€
Under the programme, each government-aided school will get sh5m. A total of sh29,420 will be paid for each student enrolled in government-aided schools, whereas those in private schools will get sh47,000.
The ministry spokesperson, Aggrey Kibenge, explained: â€œWe are taking care of the tuition. We are also trying to avoid issues of where a school can convert the cost of a uniform or other requirements into fees and make it hard for those who cannot afford them to benefit.â€
Meanwhile, a mini-survey by The New Vision reveals that most schools have had their intake increased compared to the previous years.
A teacher at Olumet Secondary School in Bululu noted that they will admit 200 students compared to 105 in the previous year.
Nakalama Secondary School in Iganga district has so far taken on 265 students under the free education project.
Head teachers and school proprietors have welcomed the intervention but called for more funding.
â€œThe intake has increased, but the facilities have not. More money is needed to address congestion,â€ a school head asserted.
Statistics from the ministry indicate that the 700 government-aided schools are expected to admit 126,000 students, private schools 36,000 and new seed schools 4,800.
Seeds schools are those constructed in sub-counties without any.
No Government school is allowed to admit students who got over aggregate 28, while private schools were free to take on those with 32.
Free secondary education starts today