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February 21, 2024
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LoP lobbies for improved capitation grant in gov’t primary schools

The Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, (LoP), Hon. Joel Ssenyonyi, has called on the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development to increase the capitation grant for government-aided primary schools, saying the current Shs20,000 per pupil per annum is insufficient.

The capitation grant to Universal Primary Schools (UPE) is supposed to be used to procure instructional materials such as chalk and stationery that are not supplied by government.

“And we expect good standards from these schools, to operate and compete at international level, it is not possible, I hope we can review it,” said Ssenyonyi.

He added that securing a good future for learners is done through quality education.

To make matters worse, Ssenyonyi said that even the insufficient capitation grant is not released in a timely manner.

He raised the matter during plenary sitting on Tuesday, 06 February 2024.

Ssenyonyi who made reference to the recent start of the new school term, said that several schools have failed to open because of unavailability of funds.

“I do not know why we delay to send this money and yet we know when the schools will open,” Ssenyonyi said.

Hon. Laura Kanushu (NRM, Persons with Disabilities) also raised concern over absence of learning materials for pupils with disabilities in government aided schools, saying that as a result, these learners with special needs end up as the worst performers.

She said that 99 percent of schools for pupils with disabilities are government aided and yet they are operating without learning materials.

“I think as a government, we have decided that PWDS should not go to school or if they go, they should fail. How can we deny children learning material?” she asked.

The Minister of State for Finance, Planning and Economic Development (General Duties), Hon. Henry Musasizi, said that the delay in release of the capitation grant to schools is occasioned by delays at the Local Government level.

“When we release the capitation grant to districts, we expect local governments to warrant and sometimes districts take their time. Some schools have already received funds, others are still in the process of warranting,” he said.

He added that government already released Shs134 billion in the third quarter for capitation grant.

Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa guided the minister to make a statement on the matter on Tuesday, 13 February 2024, with emphasis on performance of learners with disabilities.

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