High Cost of Education Sparks Concerns About Debt and Dropout Rates


Concerns are growing among education sector stakeholders regarding the exorbitant cost of education in the country, which is pushing parents and guardians into private debts and leading to increased school dropout rates. Critics argue that the government’s lack of regulation of fees charged by educational institutions is a primary driver of this problem.

These concerns were raised during the 10th Annual National Conference on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, that happened on Sepetember 14, 2023, where participants focused on the cost of education within the context of the third national development plan.

Players within the education sector assert that the high cost of education is compelling many parents to seek loans to cover school fees for their children. Angella Kasule Nabowowe, the executive director of the Initiative for Social and Economic Rights, has called for standardization within the education sector to mitigate the financial burden of education.

Experts are urging the government to ban unnecessary school requirements that impose additional financial burdens on parents, thereby frustrating many families.

Samul Kasule, Senior Planner for Economic Governance and Management at the National Planning Authority, highlighted that the unit costs for education have remained low at all levels, leading to a compromise in education quality due to inadequate inputs.

Additionally, experts argue that the focus should shift towards meeting quality assurance costs for higher education through the National Council for Higher Education, which involves the provision of adequate financing for quality control and operations.