By Spy Uganda
Following the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the country’s economy, the government has been urged to pay examinations fees for candidates at primary and secondary levels
This followed the passing of a motion moved by Bugabula South MP, Maurice Kibalya who urged the government to intervene in the plight of parents and students and meet the examination registration costs of all PLE, UCE and UACE candidates.
According to UNEB, senior four candidates pay 200,000 Shillings to meet the cost of registration while all senior six candidates pay 220,000 Shillings which Kibalya sayid Government was already in the process of paying the same amount for the government students
Kibalya added that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy has strained the financial resources with the greatest burden being felt by the poor and most vulnerable sections of society.
“Given the short timelines indicated by the Ministry of education, there is a strong likelihood that most parents might not be in a position to pay the required examination fee by the Uganda National Examination Board in addition to shool fees,” he said.
Kalungu West MP, Hon Gonzaga Ssewungu said many government programmes were put on hold and the budgets not exhausted calling for funding of the examination body to cover the costs.
“Government saved a lot of money when many activities were not carried out during the Covid-19 lockdown, let us use that money to pay for the students’ registration fees, the parents and guardians cannot afford this and they are crying out,” Ssewungu said.
In the same Vein,the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, Hon Betty Aol Ocan said many schools around the country will not open if the Education Ministry does not offer the much-needed support adding that, ‘we should not let the burden to be borne by the parents’.
Students in candidate classes are expected to start registering for examinations from 22 October which process will end on 20 November 2020.
In the past, there have been cases of students being denied the opportunity to sit examinations due to non-payment of these fees. In some cases, school administrators have not submitted the said fees to UNEB.
It should be remembered that President Museveni last month while giving his 20th presidential address on Covid-19 directed schools and all educational institutions to reopen for finalists by October 15.
“We have decided to reopen schools for candidate classes including P.7, S.4 and S.6 plus finalists in tertiary institutions like colleges and universities,” Museveni said.
The President explained that experts think it is safe for finalists to resume studies because they are only 1.5 million which represents only 10% of the total number of 15 million learners in the country.
“Each group will have a bigger space for social distancing. If they follow Standard Operating Procedures, they will be safe. The cost of waiting any further is very high because of the jam of transition.” Museveni said, adding, “If the batch of 2020 doesn’t move on, what will happen to a batch of 2021? We can’t afford to have both in 2021, therefore non-finalists can only be thought of in January.”
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