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SCHOOL FEES: Many men in trouble after lockdown

Many struggling to raise fees

Several Men Reported for Failing To Pay School Fees for Their Children

Luwero, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The District Probation Office in Luwero has so far recorded 25 cases of men reported by their wives and partners, for failing to pay school fees for their offspring’s.

The cases came up over the last two weeks since the reopening of schools as the government ended a 22-month long lockdown on educational institutions. But as schools re-open their gates, hundreds of learners are reported to be stuck in homes, with no fees or even money to clear the school requirements.

One of the women, who sought anonymity said the husband abandoned the family during the lockdown and has failed to send any support for the children to return to school, prompting her to seek help from the authorities.

Dan Kaweesi, a resident of Wobulenzi Town is among the men who were reported to the probation officer after failing to return his six children to school.

He blamed the delay on disagreements with his wife on a plan to transfer the children from private to government schools.

Joyce Namigadde, the Luwero District Probation Officer says that at least 25 men have been reported to their office but adds that the number could be higher because similar cases have been registered by village and sub-county councils across the district.

Namigadde explains that some men claim that they lost jobs during the prolonged COVID-19 lockdowns and they are unable to pay fees for children while others neglected the families over domestic violence. She says that in some cases they have counselled the men and advised them to find a way to return their children to school.

Richard Nyombi, the LCIII Chairperson of Busiika Town Council says that he has advised some men who claim not to have money to take the children to government schools where they only need to pay for meals. Nyombi says that they have also embarked on the sensitization of residents to ensure that they return all children to school.

Luwero District Secretary for Education Daniel Kyaterekera says that some children have also deliberately refused to return to school citing minor demands like new shoes.  He advised men to dialogue with wives and children on how best they can return them to school.

By the end of the second week, schools especially in rural areas of Luwero district had registered 55-60 per cent of learners who had returned for studies compared to those they had before lockdown.



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