Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Parliament Committee on Education has approved a 529 billion shillings loan for the Ministry of Education to construct schools in several sub-counties.
According to the ministry, 116 schools will be constructed out of which 84 schools will be in non-refugee hosting districts while 32 new schools in the refugee-hosting districts. At least 61 existing schools in refugee-hosting districts will also be expanded.
Of the total funding of 150million, 90 million dollars is a loan and USD 60 million a grant from the International Development Association of the World Bank.
The committee chaired by Cuthbert Abigaba, the MP Kibaale county also cleared the Uganda Peoples Defense Forces (UPDF) Engineering brigade to construct the schools, but with strict adherence to the law.
As the committee considered its reports on Monday, members expressed mixed concerns over the clearance that was given to the Engineering brigade by President Museveni.
According to Busia Municipality MP Geoffrey Macho, the recommendation that the UPDF Engineering brigade is allowed to construct the schools as long as they follow the law does not hold, saying that other contractors should be considered.
Abigaba however says although it is a presidential directive, the right procedures should be followed by the army.
Brenda Nabukenya, the Woman MP Luwero says that the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets be followed to avoid giving the army blanket clearance.
Among the other recommendations of the committee, is that a new mapping for sub-counties without schools should be done since government is currently relying on the 2015 mapping which may be invalid.
The committee also agreed that for the construction of schools to happen in the sub-counties, there should be a Memorandum of Understanding so that there are no conflicts in the future.
The report will now go before the National economy committee which will scrutinize the loan.