Gov’t failure prompts MPs fundraising for Schools’ structures

Gov’t failure prompts MPs fundraising for Schools’ structures

Amos Kakungulu

Mbarara

Government Aided and Private Schools from different areas in Uganda have suffered due to lack of funds, structures and poor infrastructure which have affected the Learners’ academic performances.

This matter has prompted Legislators to move to their specific Constituencies and support some of the schools which are in a very bad state, lacking structures to accommodate the overwhelming numbers of the students that have congested these schools.

In the middle of the 2021-2026 running term, there is a trend among the Legislators who have collaborated and started a system of fundraising for their schools in their respective constituencies. This system started from Western Uganda where some of the legislators realized that the economy of Uganda has had some shortfalls, therefore there is need for individual support to some of these institutions. A number of schools in Western Uganda have been supported with structures like classroom blocks, dormitories and other equipment needed in the facility.

Hon. Julius Tusiime during thanks giving.
Hon. Julius Tusiime during thanks giving.

Last week on Sunday, thousands of People including Members of Parliament, stakeholders and Learners converged at Rwentamu Primary School in Mwizi Sub-county Rwampara East Constituency on a fundraising function to raise funds for constructing a Girls Rwenyaga Secondary school and a classroom block and an Office at Ngoma Primary School all in Mwizi Sub County. These Schools’ enrollment has shot up.  Ngoma has over 1000 students as we talk,  Rwenyaga has 500 girls who sleep in Church at Rwenyaga Parish.

This function was organized by the area Member of Parliament Julius Tusiime Karuhanga which collaborated with his thanks giving ceremony that occurred on that day at the same place. About 25 MPs turned up for this very fundraising ceremony to support their colleague MP. About 60M was collected which will be put towards the construction of the above mentioned facilities. About 120m is needed to construct these two buildings and inclusively the 10m that was contributed by the Prime Minister of Uganda Robina Nabanja who was represented by Hon. Sissy Namuju, the Woman MP for Lwengo District.

However, Heads of schools, contractors were warned against misusing funds raised from these fundraising functions meant to support these schools. According to MP Tusiime, he appealed to the heads of schools to ensure that they are vigilant on the contractors who are going to take up the contracts of the two projects in the above-mentioned schools so that they utilize these funds without corruption.

“I appeal to the heads of the schools where our money are going to be put for construction to ensure there is smooth monitoring so that our money can be well utilized, there shouldn’t be corruption in this money fundraised by people basing on their will, let’s use or employ our own people from this area to construct our schools to avoid malpractices” said MP Tusiime.

He added that Government has got budget cuts and the education sector has suffered a budget cut of 66%, meaning that some of the schools no longer get sufficient funds for building capacity. Therefore, MPs have also come up with a unique system by coordinating together and organizing fundraising functions so that they can mobilize some funds that will support schools which are badly off in building capacity.  That it is their manifestation as Members of Parliament to support poor schools in their respective constituencies.

“As Members of Parliament our key role is appropriation. We have a challenge of total budget cuts and for the education sector has had budget cut of 66% the money that we receive in capitation grants can only construct two classroom blocks in each district in Uganda, and if Rwampara we to construct a classroom block per parish we would need 14 good years to have a classroom block at each parish primary school so my issue is that what affects my people as a leader also affects me. So we have made ourselves into developmental groups and we use that money to support each of us in our respective constituencies to do developmental work of a member’s choice. So today is a manifestation of the corporation we have had as MPs and we shall continue to support the people that we serve. It is not the weakness of the Government, no, but it is because we have suffered budget cuts as a government and it is also that we have dwindling concessional grants as a nation, said MP Tusiime.

Naome Kabasharira, the Rushenyi County Member of Parliament who was one of the MPs that attended a fundraising function in Mwizi Rwampara East said that the economy of this country has become low.  That the budget for the education sector is not enough which has prompted the Members of Parliament to come together and assist the parents and the government to ensure there is some improvement in these schools. That there is also some loopholes within the foundation bodies and the heads of these schools. She also blamed it the Government over corruption and selfishness.

According to Molly Asiimwe, the Rwampara District Woman Member of Parliament said that the income of this country has declined, therefore they have coordinated together as MPs from different constituencies in Uganda to support these schools through organizing fundraising functions as an emergency to support the schools and the Government.

She added that the population of the Learners in these local schools is growing fast when there is insufficient funding from the Government. That this is one of the reasons why the MPs have decided to come together to support each other in this crisis.

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