By Abraham Kizza
The government has ordered for the immediate closure of all unlicensed schools in the country.
Ms Deborah Katuramu, Secretary in Office of President in a letter dated February 15 says that all schools should adhere to the existing Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) which should be fulfilled by the Management Teams of both Government Aided and Private Schools.
“The Education Act, 2018 requires all Private Schools and Institutions to be licensed as a minimum for legal operation. However, it has been noticed that a number of Private Schools have failed to adhere to the well elaborated legal framework relating to management of Schools in the country,” she said.
She added that the existing legal framework is intended to facilitate proper education, safety and security of learners.
Ms Katuramu subsequently directs all Resident District Commissioners (RDCS) to convene District Security meetings and come up with appropriate joint strategies to ensure that “no school is allowed to operate without meeting the minimum requirements stated in the Standard Operating Procedures.”
“All illegal schools without licenses should be closed immediately so that learners can find alternative schools as soon as possible,” she said.
In a separate statement issued by Mr Patrick Kaboyo, the Secretary of Federation of Non-State Education Institutions (Fenei), an umbrella organisation for all private schools in Uganda, at least 300 private primary and secondary schools did not open for first term due to failure to meet the minimum standards as required by the Ministry of Education
However, despite warnings from Government, there are some schools which opened although they do not meet the required standards.
Among these are Bridge International Academies which opened all their 63 schools across the country this term claiming that they have already begun the licensing process.
Late last week, the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports Janet Museveni warned Bridge Schools and other unlicensed but operational schools that they would not be tolerated.
“… impunity being exhibited by Bridge Management, and its likes, will not be tolerated and that Government will spare no effort to use all legal means to enforce the requirements of the Law to protect our children and our future, as a country,” she noted.