MARTHA LEAH NANGALAMA – But let me ask you a question. Did the government ask you to get pregnant and have kids? Museveni gave your kids UPE and USE but some of you want to put your kids in schools like Cambridge and Oxford. So, exactly why should the government pay for such schools which charge in $$$ when you can send your kids to free schools like those of UPE & USE. Sometimes, common sense has to rule. Put your kids in the same schools as our kids.
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Government has advised that school owners negotiate with parents on modalities of fees payments because some school owners have bank loans to service. Equally, it is a fact that some parents also get loans to pay fees for either one term or a whole year. On the other hand, some fees payers lost everything when markets and cross-border trade were closed in March last year to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
However, it is wrong to assume that all parties have the same negotiation abilities or skills. Therefore, government should urgently intervene to prevent a possible exploitation of either party without any objective basis. Therefore, it would be better for government to give further guidelines on school fee payment. The guidelines should encompass the following:
The law of contract where neither party breaches the contract because of the principle of “Force Marjorie”, leading to failure to perform; For anybody who got a bank loan and failed to pay due to Covid-19, the insurance law should apply given that most if, not all registered creditors, are supposed to insure their loans as a prudent business practice to guard against any risk that may strike. Besides, governments worldwide advise money lenders to relax pressure they put on borrowers, who failed to pay due to Covid-19.
Parents who paid fees for the whole years should be regarded as having lent money to the school to be recovered against services rendered to the learners. However, Covid-19 denied the learners access to the services. This means schools were not incurring costs. Therefore, it would be unfair or illegal for schools to demand arrears for services they didn’t deliver during lockdown.