One thing I have learnt from the long tenure of NRM in power is that some people think that they know, yet in actual fact they know not. I have all along been an advocate for an educational loan scheme which is sustainable, not one which is a big joke. Government is at it again promising an educational loan scheme where students will pay after graduating and getting work. We have time and again brought it to the attention of Government that what makes sense to help big numbers of the ever increasing student population at tertiary level is to think about lending to the parent benefactor who foots the bill. As of now, the parent has some source of income; secondly he/she is liable to see the child/student go to school to get some qualifications. What magic is there that government thinks will help many students to be bailed? The parents today foot millions of shillings to sustain the children up to completion of academics; the sensible thing is to make the payments small for them. Such payments can be deducted from monthly salaries such that tuition for a year is payable in installments say over 2 years. Meaning that as money is advanced to pay student tuition, it is being paid back and the system has sure recovery measures. Merely coping what has been done elsewhere with successes or even failures will not help the NRM Government which has a very poor record on recovery of such funds. There are however a few exceptions in the category of the children who have no parents/benefactors to meet fees for them, who can benefit from purely student loans and make payments after completing academics.
I am an advocate for an educational loan scheme which makes sense not a gamble which will be empty, and I stand firm on my legs that if Government endorses a scheme where students will pay on completion of studies, it will be a hopeless gamble. Better to listen to advice than implement things which cannot work in Uganda setting. I have sent this out enough times, hope those who think that they understand will understand and implement a sensible scheme in Uganda setting.
William Kituuka Kiwanuka