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High dropout rate in Kanungu schoolsPublish Date: Jan 25, 2014


By Chris Kiwawulo

About 80% of pupils under Universal Primary Education (UPE) have dropped out of
school in Kanungu district over the last 10 years, an audit has revealed.

In his report for the year ending June 30, 2012, Auditor General John Muwanga warned
that the high dropout rate in Kanungu schools might undermine the UPE programme.

I followed a cohort of pupils who were enrolled in all UPE schools in the district in 2005
and tracked those remaining in class up to 2011 when these same pupils were
supposed to have completed P7. It was observed that 10,414 pupils were enrolled in P1
in 2005, but only 2,372 completed primary education in 2011 implying a net dropout of
8,042 pupils (77.2% of original enrolment), he stated.

Besides, an analysis showed that the pupil: teacher, pupil: classroom, pupil: latrine and
pupil: textbook ratios in most schools fell short of the minimum education ministry

Failure to meet the recommended standards, Muwanga said, leads to poor performance.
He, therefore, advised the district administration to create avenues of promoting
education and make it attractive for pupils and parents and work on improving the ratios
to meet the education ministrys recommended standards.

Messed projects, contracts

Although Willis International was advanced sh95m for the construction of an
administration block in 2010/11, work stalled.

At the end of the year, the contractor had done works totalling sh78.4m, leaving a
balance of sh16.5m unrecovered, he noted.

Analysis of contracts committee minutes revealed that contracts totalling sh558m had
been terminated during the year, which results in wastage of resources on the part of
council and improper evaluation at the time of procurement.

The Auditor General tasked the accounting officer to probe the causes of termination
and ensure proper contract evaluation and management.

There was also no formal handover of contract documents to the user department for
contract management, Muwanga noted.

The user departments did not formally appoint a contracts supervisor, had no contract
implementation plans, management fi les with monitoring reports, site meeting minutes
and copies of cumulative payments.

Investigators also found that contracts undertaken during the year 2011/12 had not been
registered in the contracts register. Therefore, the Auditor General could not track the
progress of the payments made so far on any given contracts.

Bikes found in medical store

The Auditor General found that a stores ledger did not record items delivered, issued
and balances of goods in the district medical store, making it hard for them to reconcile
remaining items in the ledger against those present.

The Auditor General noted that Village Health Team (VHT) kits delivered a year prior to
the audit and items not expected to be in drug stores like soil test kits, solar equipment,
bicycles and motorcycles were in the store, creating congestion.

Muwanga said the store was manned by a stores assistant who confessed to being the
only district officer who witnesses deliveries, implying that in case of discrepancies
between National Medical Stores and district stores, there would be no other third party
to settle the dispute.

The town council registered several groups under the Community Driven Development
(CDD) and National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) programmes and paid over
sh20m to some during the year.

However, there was no criterion as to how the groups were selected. Auditors
discovered that construction of Kanungu town councils Karubanda market vendors
shade by Kannukiso Suppliers and Contractors Ltd at sh17.9m delayed, besides the
market being built contrary to approved designs.

Expenditure of sh68.4m in Kihihi town council was not presented for verification, making
it difficult for auditors to confirm whether the money was used for the intended

Besides, the council did not maintain subsidiary ledgers, making it difficult for the Auditor
General to confirm figures of sh8.6m (debtors) and sh30.8m (creditors).

Queried revenue

It was noted that the district returned sh286.6m to the treasury instead of sh269.2m
leading to an excess of sh17.3m.

The Auditor General noted that ongoing projects would stall as communication from the
finance ministry stated that money should not be returned to the district. Whereas district
financial statements showed that it received a sh16.6b grant from the finance ministry,
the ministry indicated that it released sh14.9b.

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Elioda Tumwesigye, the minister of state for health in charge of general duties.
By Carol Kasujja
MORE teenagers are getting infected with HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted
infections. The majority are engaged in early sexual activities with sugar mummies and
daddies and house maids according to Elioda Tumwesigye, the minister of state for
Health in charge of general duties.
He said this during the closing ceremony of the 22th annual youth conference at Lugogo
on Thursday.
HIV/AIDS-related deaths among teens aged 15 to 19 have increased by 50 percent.
Most of the teenagers who are affected with HIV are boys because they do not practice
safe sex and have multiple partners and they sleep around with house girls. About 2.1
million adolescents are known to be living with HIV, he said.
He called upon all young people to focus on their studies and abstain from sex until
marriage. He also advised those who are already engaged in sexual activities but
unaware about their status to go and test to get counseling, care and support from the
health experts.
In her speech read by the KCCA Executive Director, Jennifer Musisi, The first lady Janet
Museveni, reminded the youth to have fun with their lives but they should not forget that
HIV/AIDS is among them.
In line with the theme of the conference 'An AIDS free generation: my responsibility', I
want to call upon you, the youth from your respective schools and communities, to
remember that HIV/AIDS is still with us, is deadly diseases and that it has no cure. The
available anti-retroviral drugs can only prolong the life of an infected person but are, by
no means, a cure, she said.
She noted that since HIV/AIDS is largely a behavioral disease, the youth should make
good choices in life and keep away from behaviors like drugs and alcohol that may
expose them to infection.
During the conference, 400 youth tested for HIV and 6 were found to be positive. Four
girls and 2 boys were given their results after counseling.

The intervention will double the expenditure on ARVs to about sh300b ($120m).

By Taddeo Bwambale

Government will, starting this year, enroll an additional 700,000 people on Anti-
Retrovirals (ARVs), expanding the number of people with access to free HIV drugs
to 1.3 million people.

The intervention is also expected to double the expenditure on ARVs to about sh300b
($120m), as Government steps in to stem the rising HIV infections.

Dr Alex Ario, the coordinator of the AIDS control programme in the ministry of health
sad putting more people on ARVs would be guaranteed with increased government

We have about 600,000 people enrolled on ARVs. About the same number of people are
on HIV care but not on treatment. Our target is to enroll that group on ARVs, Ario

According to Ario, Uganda already has supplies of the ARVs, enough treat about 1.2
million people up to June 2015.

We acquired ARVs for mothers to prevent transmission of HIV to their babies. We can
use those ARVs, but will need more supplies to ensure that expectant mothers are safe,
he said.

The health ministry is banking on a plan to introduce an HIV Trust Fund to generate
funds and sustain HIV programmes.

The proposal, currently awaiting approval of Parliament, proposes a small levy to fund
HIV programmes.

If approved, levies will be made on bank transactions and interest, air tickets, beer, soft
drinks and cigarettes, as well taxes on goods and services traded within Uganda.

Small fees will also be levied on civil servants' salaries; corporate and withholding tax
will be increased slightly and a small tax will be added to telephone calls and to each
kilowatt of electricity consumed.

The levy is against the backdrop that HIV/AIDS funding in Uganda is largely dependent
on donors, with emerging fears that some of them are likely to pull out.

Besides the funding gap is the threat of new HIV infections of up to 400 people daily.
HIV prevalence stands at 7.3% from 6.4% in 2006. About 1.4 million Ugandans are HIV

Uganda is the only country in east and southern Africa, and one of only two countries in
Africa where HIV prevalence is increasing, instead of reducing.

Ario warned that gains made in the fight against Aids could be reversed if government
does not increase its share of funding for HIV/Aids programmes.

If established, the trust fund is expected to generate about sh735b ($300m) annually for
HIV programmes such as condom distribution, safe male circumcision and awareness
Kenya and Tanzania are planning to set up an Aids Trust Fund, while Zimbabwe which
established the fund is heralded as a model country, generating over $20m annually.