Should Schools Really wait for Government Funds to Develop?

Should Schools Really wait for Government Funds to Develop?

As schools prepare for the start of the term and year, the question is how frugal they can be with their expenditures. The other concern is whether they can use their internally-generated funds well and stop depending entirely on government. There are several schools around the country that use internally- generated funds properly. However, some public schools are expensive as private ones; which leaves one wondering how the funds are spent.

Here is a story of how one of the prominent schools in Uganda managed to build its dream without waiting for government funds.

On the outskirts of Kampala in Mulawa village, lies the new Makerere College School (MACOS) campus stands a block of flats, outside the school’s perimeter fence. There is also a massive building within the school premises. The flats are the MACOS teacher’s quarters and the massive building is a multi-purpose hall. These two buildings are being constructed with funds generated by the school. The teachers’ quarters will house eight teachers and the multipurpose hall is expected to accommodate about 600 students at a go.

According to the head teacher, Martin Muyingo. Unlike so many public secondary schools which do not have long term projects from internally generated funds, Makerere College has been instrumental in saving and investing the tuition fees from its students in infrastructural development.

This campus is part of Makerere College. The main campus stands on Makerere hill, in Kampala. The new campus houses A’ level students; leaving the old campus for only O’ level students. The Mulawa campus was opened in 2015. Its construction started in 2013. Makerere College was, however, established in 1945 by Makerere University as a demonstration school, for education students to practice supervised teaching.

Makerere College School was one of the 42 schools which were selected in 2011 as centers of excellence to be rehabilitated and expanded under the Government’s Post Primary Education and Training Expansion and Improvement Project – IV.

The scope of works for the school included construction, nine classrooms with two science laboratories, two storeyed dormitories and external works including fencing and walkways. Construction works took place between 2013 and 2014.

The education ministry, with the support of the African Development Bank (ADB), covered the constructions’ cost of Shs1.47b. However, the school missed out on having a multipurpose hall, unlike other schools who benefited from the same funding.

A year later, using the savings accumulated over three years, MACOS management resolved to build a multipurpose hall and teachers’ quarters valued at shs1.2b. This amount is almost equal to what the Government and ADB project spent on its revamp.

The campus, which sits on 12 acres, plans to move for the second phase of constructions in 2018. This phase will include eight more units for teachers and a modern playground.

Getting the Funds.

The school charges about shs650, 000 for day scholars and about shs1, 035,000 for those in the boarding section per term. Part of the tuition fees, amounting to shs69, 000 of each student’s termly payments, is saved for this project.

There are other plans to construct another classroom block in 2020. At the time of the visit to the school, tents had been erected to accommodate the swelling number of students. The tents are used as classrooms and as a dining area.