President Yoweri Museveni is angry with head teachers at public schools for instigating school dropouts and low completion rates.
During his address at the National Budget reading on Tuesday, Museveni noted that greedy headteachers introducing all sorts of fees in schools have led to learners ditching education out of frustration.
The President said completion rates for Primary schools have hit a record low of 38percent which is a concern to literacy levels in the future.
Museveni says a latest Uganda Bureau of Statistics,UBOS report indicates that 62 percent of learners who enroll in primary schools across the country do not complete the Primary cycle of education. The figures also show that 98 percent of learners drop out of school in the areas of Karamoja.
He says this can be attributed to various fees imposed on parents for uniforms, lunch, and PTA (Parents Teachers Association).These fees are reportedly used to pay allowance to teachers and also meet the remunerations of teachers who are not on the government payroll.
However, the President is not pleased with headteachers of these public schools because they have taken advantage of the times to exploit learners.He has issued a stern warning to such teachers to exit public schools for private ones instead.
“All these fellows who are looking for money in free education ,get out and go to private schools and look for money there, this is disgusting, sending children out of school because you are looking for money for allowances,it’s disgusting” he says
The head of State is concerned that only 2 million learners complete secondary school out of 10 million others who enroll in primary.
He now wants Members of Parliament to allocate more resources towards Universal Primary Education(UPE) and Universal Secondary Education (USE) in the next financial years to provide for free and compulsory primary and secondary education.
“We shouldn’t be talking of 2 million children in Secondary school, We should be talking of 10 million because secondary school is like primary, so where have the others gone?In the next 1or 2 financial years, we should work on free and compulsory primary, maybe even Secondary education.” he adds
The Ministry of Education and Sports recently increased the capitation grant for several levels of education as one of the ways of improving service delivery in the sector.
The capitation grant rate was raised from 7,000 to 20,000 Shillings per learner in primary school in the last five years.