Uganda: Universal Alevel starts next year THE NRM 2011 presidential candidate, Yoweri Museveni, has promised free education for Alevel students starting next year. Museveni made the promise at different rallies in Lango sub-region. The Government is already providing free education at Olevel. We have given you free primary education, free education at Olevel, and now starting next year, we shall give you free education at HSC, Museveni said yesterday at a rally in Alebtong district. The partys manifesto promises to extend free secondary education from ordinary to advanced level. The ruling National Resistance Movement party first promised to introduce free secondary education during the 2006 presidential campaigns. Started four years ago, 110,000 students under the scheme of candidates will this week complete their for final OLevel examinations. A total of 264,560 students registered for the exams countrywide. Under the countrys education system, a student with A level certificate or its equivalent can join the university. Museveni was yesterday was given rousing welcome by NRM supporters in Alebtong. He warned head teachers against charging fees in government schools saying when the system is supposed to be free, it must bear no charges. It is not my plan to charge extra fees. When you say free education and then you charge money, which language do you understand? He asked to the deafening cheering of the wanainchi. The President also promised to rehabilitate old secondary schools and build laboratory. He cautioned head teachers against charging parents fees for building classrooms saying it is the work of government to do so and promised his government would construct more classrooms in the next five years. We want parents to be free, to use their money to engage in other issues that promote development, he said. He said in Lira district, before UPE was introduced, there were only 26,000 pupils enrolled in Primary schools but today over 79,000 are enrolled in Primary schools. He added that before the introduction of USE, only 11,000 students were enrolled in Secondary Schools compared to todays 15,000 students. Ministry of Education Publicist Aggrey Kibenge was yesterday guarded on the scheme when we sought out comments from him. As you know NRM is in charge, if it makes such a commitment, it means it has done ground work. If a government makes such promises, it is different, said Kibenge .Asked if this had been discussed by the technical team at the ministry, he said, I trust it has been discussed. Government began offering free secondary education to 250,000 students in February of 2007. It increased the transition rate from primary to secondary school from 46% to 69%. Currently, the scheme is being implemented in 1,471 government and some private schools covering about 579,734 students.