Reports have emerged of suspected fraudsters engaging in a bold scam, deceiving numerous parents out of millions of shillings with false promises of securing admissions for their children into a prestigious public school.
King’s College Budo authorities have alerted the police about the ongoing fraudulent activities, leading to investigations into the matter.
Highly competitive, Budo recently announced stringent entry requirements, setting the Senior One entry cut-off points at Aggregate Five for both boys and girls.
In a public notice, Budo administrators emphasized that only official admission procedures are followed for school admissions, cautioning against falling victim to extortionists. The notice also identified specific phone numbers being used by the fraudsters.
According to Mr. John Fred Kazibwe, the head teacher of Budo, the fraudsters pose as school administrators, soliciting amounts ranging from Shs5 million to Shs10 million from unsuspecting parents, claiming it’s for school admissions. So far, 29 parents have reportedly been duped.
As the Ministry of Education has set February 19 as the reporting date for Senior One students, parents are under immense pressure to secure good placements, a desperation exploited by the swindlers.
One parent, speaking anonymously, revealed how the fraudsters even have information about the child’s exam scores, making their schemes appear legitimate to desperate parents.
With stiff competition for Senior One places across the country following the release of the 2023 Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) results, Brother Augustine Mugabo, chairperson of the Association of Secondary School Head teachers of Uganda, advised parents against paying any money, cautioning them against falling prey to con artists.
Even school authorities themselves have been targeted. Mr. Moses Rukundo, head teacher of St Agnes Junior School in Kisugu, Kampala, recounted his encounter with a suspected fraudster last year, who attempted to swindle him with promises of securing a placement at another top public school.
Kampala Metropolitan police deputy spokesperson, ASP Luke Owoyesigyire, acknowledged the prevalence of such scams, urging parents to be cautious and not fall for fraudulent schemes.