13 August 2008

Uganda: Education Gets USh 120 Billion to Repair Top Schools

Kampala — The Ministry of Education has received a $70m grant (about sh120b) from the African Development Bank (ADB) to renovate government-aided secondary schools.

Under the programme, classrooms and dormitories will be renovated, while laboratories and libraries will be equipped.

The bank also approved the expansion of 15 seed secondary schools and the construction of 12 others.

Seed schools are institutions built in sub-counties which do not have secondary schools.

The pilot scheme, which will cover 42 schools that have not been repaired for over 30 years, is aimed at improving their capacity and performance.

The schools to be renovated include Nabisunsa Girls, Makerere College, Gombe Secondary School, Busoga College Mwiri, Mbarara High School, Bweranyangi Girls, Nabumali High School, St. Joseph's College Layibi, St. Peter's College Tororo, Masaka Secondary School, Teso College Aloet and St. Leo's Kyegobe.

New seed schools will be built in Arua, Bundibugyo, Bushenyi, Kyenjojo, Amuru, Pader, Kumi, Rakai, Tororo, Yumbe, Nakaseke and Bududa districts.

The project, which is co-funded by the Government, targets some of the top schools in the country whose facilities are strained by the increased number of students. There are over 780 government-owned and aided schools.

A Ministry of Education official said about 10 schools had been selected from each of the four regions to benefit from the project.

Higher education state minister Gabriel Opio said beneficiries were chosen basing on regional, religious and gender factors.

He noted that the project would help to facilitate schools in the countryside to compete favorably with other schools in the central and urban areas.

According to the appraisal report of the ADB education projects in Uganda, the pace at which programmes were being implemented had grown from 30% to 42% over the last five months.

The bank recommended that the Government should refund sh7.8b value added tax deductions to the contractors and also exempt community projects from the levy.

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