Ministry of Education and Sports has recalled the registration certificates of all private secondary schools across the country. Edward Ssebukyu, the Assistant Commissioner of Private Schools and institutions, says the decision is aimed at cleaning up the private secondary school’s register and update information on all schools across the country.
“We need to get updated information on all these schools in this category for better planning in the sector. The available information is not updated and therefore doesn’t reflect the realities on the ground,” says Ssebukyu. He explains that the ministry plans to phase out the old certificate by 2023. This means private secondary schools have three years to return their old certificates in exchange for new ones, which will come with computerized security protocols that cannot be manipulated.
“The entire process is free and the ministry will be handling it in a phased manner. Each quarter we will be handling a given region or selected regions. We have already started with the central region,” Ssebukyu said. He, however, says that schools will be required to provide a few requirements including their status reports detailing the school and land ownership, Education Management Information System-EMIS number, Tax Identification Number-TIN and details on the student’s enrollment and staff among others.
Available information indicates that the ministry is currently working with the register of secondary schools that were opened up in the early 1950s. There are over 60,000 schools on the register. However, the register provides limited information regarding the current status of these institutions.
Mary Mutende, the Principal Education Officer under private schools and institutions department in the Ministry of Education cites an example of many private secondary schools that have since closed shop but are still in the Ministry records. She also notes that the register still contains schools whose administration or ownership has since been transferred to the ministry as government-aided schools.
Some of the schools have also changed location while others have gone ahead to modify or completely change their names without the knowledge of the ministry. Mutende says that under the new arrangement, the ministry is coming up with new changes in the licensing and registration guidelines.
Ssebukyu further adds after issuing the new certificates, any changes in the key information on the certificates will render the certificate invalid. “For instance if a school changes location, or ownership, it must come back and get a new license with that detail,” he added.
He adds that the schools will also be required to share their updated information including enrollment, staff, available furniture and latrine stances among others regularly through the EMIS to enable the ministry make informed decisions for operational and managerial functions.