Mr. Corti Paul Lakuma and economist and research fellow with the EPRC has urged government to consider a bail out for private schools in form of salary arrears for teachers, lest they collapse.

He was speaking as a panelist at the fourth Economic Growth conference organized by the Ministry of finance and International Growth Centre (IGC) on September 1, 2020 at Kampala Serena Hotel.

The researcher said that Covid-19 pandemic and the containment measures put in place by government had not spared the schools especially those privately owned whose proprietors depend on fees collections to remain afloat. He used an example of Kenya which had established a fund to help critically stressed schools to fill the financial woes. Mr. Lakuma argued that this stimulus package should prioritize the private schools running a Ugandan curriculum. “Uganda’s population has grown in numbers and the private schools have supplemented government aided schools to provide education,” he noted adding that the current situation brought about suspension of teachers’ salaries. He predicted that some schools might not reopen unless bailed out.

Earlier, Lakuma presented a paper from a rapid survey on the impact of Covid-19 on the Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) indicating that he decline in small and medium businesses is due to inability to cope containment measures instituted by government. Specifically, nine out of ten businesses reported experiencing an increase in operating expenses due to preventive measures instituted by government to curb the spread of the virus.

 With respect to the future, micro and small businesses indicate that they would exit business in 1 to 3 months in the event the current situation persist. Consequently, the report projected that about 3.8 million workers would lose their jobs temporarily while 0.6 million would lose their employment permanently in the event that COVID-19 persists for the next six months.

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