By Goodluck Musinguzi
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has commissioned one of the 117 newly built secondary schools under the Inter-Governmental Fiscal Transfer Reform Programme of government that is aimed at strengthening local governments.
Keihangara Seed Secondary School is located in Rwenshambya village, Ibanda District one of the hard-to-reach areas where the government is bringing services near to the population.
“I came here to use the opportunity of commissioning this school as a symbol to remind Ugandans that the government is moving on the frontline for mass education as opposed to elite education during the colonial and past governments. This is the NRM concept of education for all”, said President Museveni.
After cutting the ribbon, the President said he was in Ibanda district to support the good work done by the Minister of Education and First Lady Hon Janet Kataha Museveni and her team of technocrats who have delivered 117 secondary schools.
Hon Janet Kataha Museveni, Minister of Education and Sports thanked the Permanent Secretary, Ms. Ketty Lamaro who promised to deliver another 115 seed secondary schools in the second phase and 27 schools in the last phase.
Hon Janet Museveni said it was a pity that some of the seed schools being constructed lack critical amenities such as electricity and water given their hard-to-reach locations.
“I appeal to the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development and the Coordinator of the program to prioritize the provision of these critical services to the schools”, Hon Janet Museveni said.
She thanked God for the seed secondary schools and the communities hosting them as a gift that will transform the young people who will use them.
In terms of scope on facilities, all the 232 (117-on going and 115-New) Seed Secondary Schools are meant to have the following: 2-classroom blocks, 2-unit science laboratory block, one administration block, 6 (six) teachers’ houses with kitchen, five stances lined VIP latrine for boys, five stances lined VIP latrine for girls, 3 two stances lined VIP latrine for teachers’ houses, 2 stances lined VIP latrine for administration block, ICT Laboratory, and Library block,
Rainwater harvesting system and a multi-purpose hall.
In a bid to improve the quality of service delivery, the Government in 2001 conducted a Fiscal Decentralization Study that informed the Fiscal Decentralization Strategy (FDS) in 2002. The overarching objective of the FDS was to strengthen Decentralization by increasing the autonomy and fiscal transfer modalities to Local Governments.
The main findings indicated that Local Governments were grossly underfunded to deliver on their mandates. In order to address the service delivery bottlenecks, the Government in FY 2015/16 embarked on implementing the Inter-Governmental Fiscal Transfer Reform Programme focusing on three key objectives; i) Providing adequate financing to Local Governments; ii) Ensuring Equity in the allocation of resources, and iii) improving the efficiency in the delivery of services by Local Governments through performance assessment mechanisms coupled with improving
coordination between Central Government Institutions and Local Governments.
To support this reform, in 2018, Government borrowed US$200million from theWorld Bank as budget support towards the construction of232Seed Secondary Schools and the upgrade of 285 Health Centre IIs to IIIs in unserved Sub-counties. As of March 15th, 2020 US$106million
representing 53% of the credit facility had been disbursed, and this has translated into increase in capitation grants under Education from UShs.231.4Bn in FY 2017/18 to UShs.335.3Bn in FY 2020/21 while under Health, grants have increased from UShs.39.9Bn in FY 2017/18 to
UShs.85.9Bn in FY 2020/21.
Other seed secondary schools include Kakomongole New in Nakapiripirit, MC Railway Division in Northern Lira, Manyogaseka in Kasanda District,Nazigo in Kayunga District, Nyamarwa in Kibaale District, Nyakashashara in Kiruhura District, Tara in Maracha District, Kimenyedde in Mukono District, Atego in Nebbi District,Ogom in Pader District, Nyamweru in Rubanda district, Lodonga in Yumbe District, Amuru in Amuru District, Ukusijoni in Adjumani, Kiryanga in Kagadi District, Birembo in Kakumiro District, Lwamagwa in Rakai District, Mpumudde in Lyatonde District, Panyangara in Kotido District, Nyakwae in Abim District, Batta in Dokolo District, Abia in Alebtong District, Iwemba in Bugiri District, Kabeywa in Kapchorwa District, Olok in Pallisa District, Sibanga in Manafwa District, Buyende in Buyende District, Kadungulu in Serere District, Ngora in Ngora District, Kabweri in Kibuku District, Mukoto in Namisindwa District, Bumbaire in Bushenyi District, Lungulu in Nwoya District, Lwengo in Lwengo District, Wakiso in Wakiso District, Paloga in Lamwo District, Lapono in Agago District, Karita in Amudat District, Apac in Apac District, Maddu in Gomba District, Buhara in Kabale District,Lukaya Town Council in Kalungu District, Palam in Katakwi District, Aduku in Kwania District, Kitawoi in Kween District, Bananywa in Kyankwanzi District, Bukakata in Masaka District among others.