The fate of more than two thousand learners in Lira district hangs in balance after owners of private schools threatened not to reopen for second term if their request to increase school fees is not approved by the ministry of education.
The proprietors contend that they wrote to the ministry on April 30th 2017 asking to be given permission to at least raise school fees by between 30-50percent in order to meet the growing costs of sustaining operations.
Okullo Simon, information pills the proprietor Green Valley primary school says the current school fees of 110,000shillings that he charges on each learner may not be enough to accommodate and feed pupils next term.
Okullo discloses that he has asked the ministry to grant his request of an increment of 80,000shilings to total 190,000 per learner in the next term.
He warns that if the ministry does not cooperate, he will be forced to close down his school that has a population of 240 pupils.
Susan Okello, the proprietor of St. Paul Secondary school charges that if the request is not granted, she will be compelled to close down the boarding section owing to the escalation in commodity prices.
Okello who charges 123,500 for day scholars and 185,000 for boarding students wants to be able to raise this by 30%.
She reveals that owners of more than twenty schools in the district petitioned the education ministry over the matter but no response has been received yet.
Dr. Joel Okuja a parent whose child attends a government secondary school in Lira district says, the head teacher has convened a meeting with parents next week and top on the agenda is the issue of increasing school fees for next.
An official in the office of the education ministry Rose Mary Seninde acknowledges that several petitions from all over the country have been received by owners of private schools.
She reveals that the ministry is prioritizing schools in Kampala before looking into requests from upcountry schools.
The latest development comes after education minister Janet Kataha Museveni warned private schools against hiking school fees without authorization from her ministry.