Kampala: Although free primary education in Uganda was introduced to promote access to quality education, corruption is greatly affecting the programme.
Many parents in Uganda today will go out of their way to ensure that their children attain better grades using illegal and underhand means, a new study has revealed.
The widely practiced corruption behaviour in basic primary education is the bribery done by parents, according to results of the study conducted by Transparency International-Uganda and the global coalition against corruption.
In their report, the two anticorruption movements say to ensure that their children are admitted into schools of their choice even when they do not meet the admission requirements, parents often pay unofficial and un-receipted monies to teachers.
“Some of the parents approach friends of teachers so they can speak to the people who ultimately make the final decisions in the schools. In addition, payment is made by parents to teachers so that their children can get good grades in class or get extra assistance which is outside the normal schedule of a teacher,” says the report titled “Undercovering corruption behaviours in basic education in Uganda” issued on Thursday.
According to John Mary, chairperson Transparency International-Uganda, challenges in most schools especially those funded by government include; delays in disbursement of grants ranked fourth at 28.9 percent, teacher absenteeism at 27.8 percent and least ranked behaviours were shoddy works and connivance with suppliers and contractors in return for kickbacks at 6.4 percent.
He said the priorities of leaders in Uganda are far from the needs and desires of the people they lead.
“Celebrations are made for passing problematic laws instead of putting that money to better use,” he noted.
Mr Vincent Barasa, the District Education Officer Mukono, noted that building capacities of school management committees needs to be given funding priority because inspectors cannot be in all schools most times.
This, he advised would improve on performance of schools and curb corruption at the grassroots.