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Parliament Wants Government to Pay Exam Fees For Candidates

Reopening of schools might have brought much harm than good to the government as Parliament has passed a resolution urging government to pay the examination registration fees for all candidates this year due to COVID-19

This was taken up after a motion presented by Bugabula south MP Henry Kibalya who noted that parents are struggling with effects of the lockdown and need to be supported to facilitate the registration of learners.

According to estimates from the Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB), the government is likely to spend around 32 billion Shillings for students in private schools alone.

Senior four candidates pay Ugx. 200,000 to meet the cost of registration while all senior six candidates  pay Ugx. 220,000. Kibalya says Government was already in the process of paying the same amount for the government students.

Kibalya adds that countries like Ghana, Malawi and Kenya are already meeting these costs and they would also like the government to reconsider its position and meet these costs on behalf of the so many families that are struggling, and therefore unable to pay.

He also says that they would not like students to return to schools and miss out on exams as many parents lack the capacity to pay for the registration.

Mukono South MP Johnson Muyanja Senyonga says that many private schools do not charge uniform fees and that many use the registration to exploit the parents. He says that by taking up the payment, the government will relieve the already vulnerable parents.

According to the timetable released by UNEB, schools are expected to carry out registration of candidate classes between October 22 and November 20.

Kalungu West MP Joseph Sewungu says that due to COVID-19, many proprietors of schools are not financially stable. He says also this would stop cases of heads of schools running away with students registration fees.

After debating the motion, the resolution was unanimously passed by Parliament. However, it is only an advisory to the government.