Almost all private schools have increased their fees for Senior One by between sh50,000 and sh100,000.
However, the public or Government aided schools have not altered their fees. But some have increased fees on other items like uniform and development fund.
Schools all over the country have already set fees for Senior One students who are to begin their first term on February 13.
New Vision combed through O’level schools all over the country, checking on school fees for Senior One this year, but there are indications that most schools have shot up their tuition fees.
A survey reveals that whereas generally schools with higher fees perform better, there are many poorly performing schools with high fees. A few others have moderate fees, but perform well.
The only relief is that most top performing schools like Uganda Martyrs’ SS, Namugongo, Seeta High, St. Mary’s Kitende, Gayaza High, St. Mary’s College, Kisubi, Buddo SS, Turkish Light Academy and Trinity College Nabingo, have not increased their fees.
But a good number of private schools, top and low performing ones, all have hiked their tuition fees.
The analysis considered only tuition fees; meaning it excluded other additional fees which Senior One students will pay in the respective schools where they are admitted.
Some Universal Secondary Schools are on the list for fees; though these are for additional items students may pay other than tuition fees. Some private schools partner with Government for USE programme and there are also Government USE schools with legal boarding sections.
Schools under USE are not allowed to levy tuition fees, and that is why the analysis only considered fees on additional items required in such USE schools.
Many parents evade going to USE schools, but Government has an outstanding number of over 600,000 students under free education.
However, for many parents, it is a nightmare getting children into good-performing schools that charge reasonable fees.
Nevertheless, some parents do not follow grades while looking for vacancies, but personal and historical attachment to certain schools.
Religious affiliation, discipline, distance from home and the quality of facilities are also issues parents look at in selecting schools.
Some schools may not be among those with the highest percentage in Division 1, but gain parents’ favour due to the overall exposure, skills and other benefits the students get.
Aga Khan Schools, Kabojja SS and Vienna College Namugongo, for instance, are known for having curricula that prepare students for overseas tertiary education.
The Taibah schools are known for enabling students get work experience in different organisations during holidays.
Otherwise, most parents prefer schools where their children have the highest chance of passing national exams highly, without necessarily spending lots of money on fees.
Analysts attribute the high private schools’ fees to no subsidy by the Government.
By Conan Businge, Francis Kagolo and Brenda Asiimwe, The New Vision