July 22, 2024

Nabbanja directs women’s council to fight illegal school charges

Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja has instructed representatives of the National Women’s Council (NWC) to combat illegal fees levied in public schools. Nabbanja emphasized that these unauthorized charges contribute significantly to the chronic issue of school dropouts prevalent in the country.

“We usually enroll about 10 million students in Primary One, yet the completion rate is only about 20 percent by Primary Seven. Let’s join the fight against illegal fees,” Nabbanja urged during the annual conference for the NWC in Kampala on March 6.

“When we launched the campaign against illegal school charges in Kakumiro District, we achieved success. You can also make a difference. These schools belong to our people,” she asserted.

Additionally, Nabbanja cautioned public servants against engaging in moonlighting activities, which she stated have negatively impacted service delivery in government institutions. She reassured that the rationalization of government agencies would not affect the NWC.

According to Nabbanja, the merger of agencies will enable the government to save nearly a trillion shillings annually. Furthermore, she announced that representatives of the women’s councils would continue to hold their respective offices even after their term expires until the government secures funds for conducting elections for new office bearers.

Recently, the government extended the term of office for Local Council 1 and 2, and women councils for another 180 days, until early July 2024, due to financial constraints. This decision was made after statutory instruments were tabled in Parliament for the extension during a sitting held on January 9, 2024.

Nabbanja tasked the women councils with mobilizing women to capitalize on government programs such as the Parish Development Model to enhance socioeconomic empowerment. State Minister for Gender and Culture Peace Mutuuzo pledged support for women’s councils, describing them as “nursery beds” for nurturing women leaders.

Mutuuzo expressed pride in the significant representation of women in Uganda’s cabinet, including holding top positions such as the vice president. However, she noted that members of women’s councils desire an audience with President Museveni at the National Leadership Institute in Kyankwanzi District to strengthen their leadership skills.

Kibowa Faridah, Chairperson of the National Women’s Council in the Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development, highlighted the progress made in empowering women and girls over the past 30 years since Uganda started celebrating Women’s Day on March 8.

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