Uganda: 40 Bugiri Schools Fail to Account for Shs150m

Forty secondary school head teachers in Bugiri District have not accounted for a total of Shs150m they received under the Universal Secondary Education (USE) programme for a two-year period, the district public accounts committee has revealed.

The committee chairperson, Mr Robert Isabirye Mpala, said the head teachers include those from government-aided and private government funded schools.

The funds were meant to facilitate the schools for 2017/ 2018 and 2018/ 2019 financial years.

Mr Mpala on Monday said the committee summoned the affected schools head teachers to produce their financial audit reports, but they have not done so. They have now been given up to Friday.

He listed some of the affected schools as Universal High School and Town View Secondary School, both in Bugiri Municipality, and Muterere Secondary School in Muterere Sub-county, among others.

He, however, did not say how much each of the schools had failed to account for.

"This is our last warning to these head teachers because we have been sending them letters inviting them to produce their reports but they have failed to turn up," he said.

Mr Mpala added that the schools' matters have been handed over to Bugiri police, with a likelihood that the affected school head teachers are arrested and charged before court.

"I think this (Police) is the only solution because we have tried our best to invite the head teachers to present their financial audit reports but they keep dodging us," he said.

But the head teacher of Universal High School, Mr Robert Oguti, on Monday said some private school head teachers delay to table their accountability before the committee because their (school) directors conceal documents and rarely show up at school.

Challenges

"By the time I was invited to present my audit report for the USE funds my director was out of the country. It is not our own making but we are faced with many challenges as head teachers. But we have not misused any funds," he said.

He urged members of the committee to remain calm as they prepare the documents before the end of this financial year. Mr Julius Wamoni, the head teacher of Town View Secondary School, said since his school started receiving funds from government, it has never failed to present its financial report to the committee.

About use programme

Background. In January 2007, government embarked on a strategy to implement a nationwide Universal Secondary Education (USE) policy aimed at opening access and creating opportunities for poor students to attend secondary Schools.

Selected. In 2007, one school in every Sub-county was chosen to become a USE school, thus creating a parallel system of government schools in which one was free and all other Government schools remained under a fee-based structure.

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