The Ministry of Education and Sports has increased the capitation grant for several levels of education as one of the ways of improving service delivery in the sector.
Available information indicates the increase has been effected in primary schools, special needs schools (both primary and secondary), public technical institutions, community polytechnics and health training institutions.
At the primary school level, the capitation grant rate for the 7.6 million learners in 12,432 schools has been raised from Sh17,000 that was given at the start of the financial year 2021/2022 to Sh 20,000 per learner.
The Minister of Education and Sports, Janet Kataha Museveni confirmed the development at the media briefing on Wednesday noting that they have already secured a supplementary budget of Sh 23 billion to this effect.
She sees this as a milestone and achievement of her leadership at the helm of the ministry given the fact that the UPE grant was stuck at Shs 7000 five years ago.
The capitation grant is an annual contribution by the government toward the education of learners. Over the years, educationists and policymakers have been calling on the government to increase the capitation grant due to the heavy expenditures made by schools.
Due to low funding, some schools, most especially those in urban areas, started collecting additional fees dubbed PTA fees to finance their needs. According to guidelines, School expenditures that are eligible for the UPE capitation grant include instructional and scholastic materials (35 percent), co-curricular activities (20 percent), school management (15 percent), and administration (10 percent), and contingency expenditure (20 percent).
The ministry has also set aside Sh194.14 million to increase the capitation grant for 70,712 learners with special needs education in both public primary and secondary in beneficiary local governments.
For the “O” and A ‘levels the ministry will continue sending Shillings 56,000 and Shillings 90,000 respectively given the fact that the two levels had just received an increment.
Just recently, the ministry set aside Sh6.81 billion to increase the capitation grant for learners in public technical institutions, community polytechnics and health training institutions, which had stagnated since 2011.
In health training institutions alone, the capitation has been raised from Sh 800,000 to Sh 1.5 million per academic year.
The ministry has also injected Shillings 3. 96 billion into the long-forgotten inspection and supervision and monitoring department. With these funds coming, the authorities at the education ministry think that this function will be revived.
Over the years, inspectors of schools have been decrying challenges that hindered them from carrying out routine school inspections.
Failure by the inspectors to work effectively has led to a lack of monitoring and supervision in schools thus encouraging the sprouting of schools that are operating illegally with many other unacceptable things being done freely in school.
On the issues of school fees, both in private and public schools, the ministry has in recent weeks been conducting a survey that is going to inform a statutory instrument that will regulate how schools should charge fees and requirements.
Mrs. Museveni notes that in the meantime parents should consider taking their children to affordable schools within their localities.
Her advice comes at a time when several schools have already hiked tuition citing the high commodity prices. But, the first lady notes that before any school increases fees, regardless of the reason, they should first get permission from the ministry as the law requires.