Uganda Peoples Congress

Miria criticises government on high tuition fees, UPE programme

From MONITOR News | February 8, 2006



UPC presidential candidate Miria Kalule Obote yesterday criticised the government for the exorbitant fees charged in higher institutions of learning.

She was addressing a rally at Kasambira Secondary School in Kamuli district. Miria sad if the UPC government is elected into power, they will put up a loan scheme for the poor to access education at university and other higher institutions of learning.

Uganda has more than 10 universities of which four are public. The public universities include Makerere, Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Gulu and Kyambogo. The school fees structure for a bachelors degree ranges from Shs405,000-Shs960,000 exclusive of administrative costs which are almost Shs200,000 for undergraduate students.

Miria also criticised the Universal Primary Education, saying it was an ill-conceived programme that the NRM party stole from the UPC government. The NRM government introduced UPE in 1997 and has promised Universal Secondary Education once elected into power.

Miria said the implementation of UPE has been haphazard and the results have been disastrous. "UPE can be compared to something which makes children foolish. Teachers are not trained properly and you find about 150 children in one classroom," she said.

At Butabala in Kamuli, Miria said the UPC built 23 hospitals but they are apparently in a dire situation. "There are no drugs, beds and food in these hospitals. People too are cheated," she said.

Holding a consistent line on the issue of the current power crisis in the country, the UPC candidate blamed the "shortsightedness" of the NRM government. "Another dam should have been built but government officials are corrupt," Miria said