Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni has phased out of all University scholarships for all University Students.
Museveni made the revelation while presiding over the official launch of the Students Finance loan scheme at Kyambogo University on Thursday where he noted that those already benefiting from the scholarship won’t be affected by the new development but emphasized that no new students will be sponsored by statehouse in the coming years.
“Government attaches great importance to the education sector and the establishment of the students loan scheme is meant to act as the apex of our education funding. This means that the state house scholarships are going to be phased out and the approximately Shs.30billions that have been spent on these scholarships will be channeled to the scheme”.
Museveni’s remarks confirm earlier speculations that state house had stopped funding students’ education at university level. The president also took the opportunity to criticize the students and administration of Kyambogo University for failing to solve their grievances a trend he says has historically impacted on the image of the University to make it well known for the constant strikes. “Kyambogo University has evolved over time, but the image the University carries of constant strikes is impacting on its further growth.
Why can’t you people sit down and address your challenges as educated people? Do you want government to bring which doctors so as to make us understand what is really wrong with this institution?” remarked Museveni. Information from the Ministry of education indicates that Shs.6bn was set aside for the students’ loan scheme, and of this Shs.2bn will be used for carrying out duties of the secretariat that are going to implement the program and the remaining Shs.4bn is what is to be used by the students.
However, John Muyingo, the State Minister for higher education warned that the beneficiaries should explicit honesty, transparency when applying for this loan and revealed that the Ministry won’t hesitate to arrest the students that default on these loans. Responding to media queries on how the screening exercise will be carried out to ensure that only the poor will be the beneficiaries of the scheme, Jessica Alupo, the Minister of Education and Sports emphasized that critical screening was done when choosing the board members of the scheme.
“The screening and mechanism of identifying the poor will detail a background of the financial status of the parents, former schools that the students attended and this will be keenly verified. Any applicant that we identify to have lied will be automatically cancelled” noted Alupo.
Alupo was put to task to respond to media reports on the on going misunderstanding in UNEB and police deployment at the premises which claims she refuted as false. ”
“What I know is that UNEB is very peaceful and there is no problem at UNEB, we are waiting for a written communication from the president on the term in office and appointment of the UNEB Secretary. With the police deployment at UNEB, that is a normal routine in all government entities” asserted Alupo.
It should be recalled that yesterday morning, there were media reports that police had surrounded and taken over offices of UNEB in Ntinda.
She also went on to quash claims that the Ministry had intended to make some budget cuts in the Universal Primary Education (UPE) from Shs.7000 to Shs. 6800 stating that she isn’t aware of any meeting that took place in the Ministry to come to that decision.
The students’ loan scheme is intended to increase equitable access to technical and higher education, open to only Ugandan students. The loan that is meant to be paid one year after the student completes higher education covers the applicant’s tuition, functional and research fees.
However critics have questioned the law that demands the student to pay after one year or face jail sentence of 6months.
This therefore means, after one serving the sentence, the party is exonerated from paying the money.