ugandan studentKAMPALA- Uganda has begun implementing a free universal secondary education program in 700 public and 280 private schools in the first phase of a plan aimed at making education accessible to all, officials said on Monday. Already, since 1997, Uganda has offered free education in all of its public primary schools…


"Ours is a pro-poor intervention," said Education Minister Namirembe Bitamazire. Her ministry has released 7.3 billion Ugandan shillings (US $4.2 million) for public and private schools included in the program.

"The ministry is releasing seven million shillings ($3,888) to each of the schools that are going to participate," she said adding that rigorous accountability would be enforced to ensure the money was used correctly.

"Vocational and technical training, not included in this original plan, will be incorporated in the system as funds become available," she explained.

Boarding costs are not covered under the programme and parents were expected to pay for medical care.

© IRIN- 4 Dec 2006 [This article does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies.]

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