Despite facing numerous obstacles and setbacks, Austin Sali (not real name) a Senior One student has overcome the odds to secure enrollment at Caltec Academy, a renowned academic institution located in the Capital-Kampala.
In a heartwarming story of perseverance and determination, Austin reveals how uncertain everything seemed from the time he started looking for a placement, “I felt nervous and scared, l doubted if I would be able to find a school with the fact that my mom was struggling to make end meet amidst School fees hikes.” Austin said.
Despite acing 13 aggregates which places him in Second Grade, the road to enrollment was not an easy one for the young student.
According to his parents, the process of enrolling Austin at Calec Academy Makerere was a frustrating one, leaving them and their son feeling alienated and unsure of his chances of success at the school. However, with the support from his family and Austin remained hopeful.
“It was very expensive, “ To enter the school, I had to pay 60% of the fees and my son was never allowed into the school for at least three days until we got a loan to raise the 60%.” reveals Nabachwa Joyce, Austin’s mother.
Through sheer determination from his parents, Austin was eventually accepted at Calec Academy, where he continues to excel academically. His success is a testament to the importance of perseverance and utter resilience.
Austin expressed his gratitude to his parents and teachers for their unwavering support, “I am grateful for the opportunity to study at Calec Academy and I will continue to work hard to achieve my dreams.” Notes Austin.
Parents have gone through a lot of debts and losses because of Secondary School admission however for others it is a natural process.
Inequality in access to education has once again come to the forefront, as families struggle to afford tuition fees for their children’s secondary education.
Speaking to Rukundo Ismael, a resident of Kikoni-Makerere and uncle to a recently enrolled senior one student, he highlighted the ease of the admission process for his family due to their financial resources.
According to Rukundo, the admission process is generally easier for families living in urban areas as compared to those in villages and slums, who often struggle to afford tuition fees. “Our girl had good grades, and we had the tuition, so the process was short and easy,” Rukundo noted.
While some families are able to navigate the admission process with ease, others continue to feel the sting of not being able to afford tuition fees. This has raised concerns about the growing inequality in access to education, and the need for policies that provide equal opportunities for all students, regardless of their socio-economic background.
As President Museveni announced the oppening of schools in 2022, Schools hiked fares to help them catch up with a 2 year hiatus.
Same year, Parliament constituted a committee to come up with a comprehensive report addressing the issue in both government and private institutions.
Also, Parliament was expected to start a process to amend the 2008 Education Act in a bid to, among others, give the Education minister sweeping powers to regulate fees in both government-aided and private institutions.
The move came at a time when parents were apprehensive about school fare hikes in particularly private schools. Todate, regulations on school fees still hang in balance.
Ultimately, education is a fundamental right that ought to be accessible to all children, regardless of their socio-economic background. It is important for communities, governments, and educational institutions to work together to ensure that every child has the opportunity to receive a quality education and reach their full potential.
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