The owners of private schools have called on the government to create a relief fund of at least 500 billion shillings for them to allow them to smoothly prepare for the reopening of schools in January next year.

Igara East MP Michael Mawanda, who made the request to Parliament’s Education Committee yesterday, said the fund will also enable school owners to recover from the shocks caused by the pandemic of Covid-19 and blockages.

He also called for the money to be used by the end of December to allow school owners to plan accordingly.

“According to the information we have, bank loans now stand at around Shs 1.7 trillion, but we are not saying that the government should take this responsibility, we are looking at this component of Covid-19, which amounts to about Shs 500 billion, which is not a lot of money, “Mawanda said.

He added: “The government may be able to restructure something so that these institutions can reopen. These schools need a fund if the government reopens in January, it [should] be a fund in December. “

Mr Mawanda said schools would also use the funds to purchase hand sanitizers, soap and heat guns.

MEPs reject the decision

However, a section of lawmakers rejected the suggestion, saying many private school owners had in the past charged exorbitant fees and other materials.

“Although the government can support private schools, many are owned by money-oriented people, they have turned education into a social economy by baking students, and you are only fooling this country by saying that you are training these children but they cannot defend their diplomas, “said Charles Onen, MP for Gulu East.

Jonam County MP Mr. Emmanuel Ongiertho and Shadow Education Minister Brendah Nabukenya agreed with their colleague, saying private school bosses had been tough and treated their workers unfairly, many of whom were badly. paid.

“I think we need to be clear if Parliament supports this motion, how will it affect tuition fees, we would like to support private schools but we would like to see fairness. How does it positively justify them? high tuition fees? ” Ms. Nabukenya asked.

Mr Mawanda’s proposal is in line with the motion that Kyankwanzi MP Christine Sendawula recently tabled, urging the government to bail out schools and private institutions.

Ms Sendawula told parliament that at least 3,500 people have lost their jobs due to school closures.

“The debt burden related to education is around Shs 2 trillion, with increasing interest being charged between 22% and 26% per day. Some schools are about to be auctioned off. The loss of income has had an impact on employment capacity in the private education sector. with over 3,500 dismissed teachers, ”said Sendawula.

This is the first time that the owners of private schools have asked the government to help them on this issue.

In August, the Minister of Finance, Mr. Matia Kasaija, asked the owners to sell their property and repay the loans if they did not want their schools to be auctioned.

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