THE Ugandan government this week announced that it was withdrawing all the grants paid to mission schools for the employment of supervisory staff, but denied that plans for taking over supervision of the schools included either nationalisation or taking ownership away from voluntary agencies.
In a radio broadcast from Kampala, the Minister for Education, Mr. L. Kalule-Settala, stated that the move would "in no way interfere with the teaching of religion in schools". Co-operation between voluntary agencies and representatives of the government had become "increasingly close and friendly" in recent years, he added.
"Nevertheless, the government has now become convinced," he said, "that in an independent Uganda the supervision and control of the nation's schools must ultimately rest in the hands of the government alone.
"As one step toward achieving this," he said. "it has been decided that with effect from the end of this year, to withdraw all the grants the government has, over the years. been paying over to voluntary agencies for the employment of supervisory staff.
"However, it is intended to create a considerable number of assistant education officer posts. It is these officers who, in the future, will be responsible to area education officers for the effective supervision of schools. The sole and single-minded aim of the government is to increase the effectiveness and to reduce the costs of school supervision."
Catholic organisations run 2.618 schools in Uganda, a former British territory which became independent in October, 1962.