I am a crusader for Good Governance. My mission is to contribute to the promotion of Good Governance and more specifically Democracy ideal for Uganda.
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
IT IS SAD THAT THE NRM GOVT IS FAILING TO IMPLEMENT THE EDUCATIONAL LOAN SCHEME
President Museveni has always come up with excuses why the Education loan scheme is not taking off. On the occasion of opening Makerere University Business School Library, he is quoted to have said, "On the students’ study loan scheme, the President said that the programme could not take off immediately because government had to deal with issues pertaining to electricity development which programme was blocked by some MPs and in the past 7 years, government was spending over Shs.1.5 trillion to subsidize power generation sector in the country. He, however, gave assurances that the students’ loan scheme will now be looked into."
Since 2001, the establishment and operationalization of the education loan scheme has remained a mystery. In his election manifesto of 2001, Museveni promised implementation of the education loan scheme, today, 11 years down the road, the NRM Government has no feasible plan to implement a sustainable educational loan scheme. In his election manifesto of 2001 titled:'' Consolidating the Achievements of the Movement''. He stated: ''The funds generated by Makerere outside the Government budget (through private sponsorship) have made it possible for the University to increase the pay to the lecturers and other workers and to construct new buildings. The challenge facing Makerere University now is to ensure quality education and to dedicate more resources to research.'' The President further said, ''My Government will establish an Educational Loan Scheme to increase access to higher education.'' In 2001, Makerere University Private Students’ Parents’ Association (MUPRISPA) Ltd came into existence to fight for the rights of private students at Makerere University who were being treated as second class citizens. The organization went a long way in putting to light what was being done wrongly and proposals to better the situation of private students which went as far as coming up with workable solutions to implementing a meaningful education loan scheme that would stand the test of time. Unfortunately, because the Government is dreaming of implementing a scheme where students will pay after getting work, the scheme if it ever takes off will not be sustainable given the messes of poor job creation by the Government and the useless pay to those in employment given the valueless shilling. Learning from education loan schemes elsewhere will not help Uganda now, there are people who know how to implement a scheme that is workable, but the wrong politics cannot give them opportunity!
I want to inform the NRM Government today that the design of an education loan scheme where beneficiaries are expected to pay after completing studies is hopeless and cannot work hence it is a dream thinking of its design as a sustainable. The scheme that will make sense is where the parents/benefactors are the borrowers, and what is important is to have these pay back from monthly salary or other income what is reasonable or manageable such that for a course which is 3 years, the borrower would repay in 6 years. There is no guaranteed jobs for graduates which can ensure that they pay back given the millions of job seekers who have qualifications. yet the Government has so sound plan to help job seekers get employment outside the country. Many are just falling victim to fake companies that assume to bail them, only to find themselves in big problems after. As a country we have out grown the business of copying what has been applied elsewhere. We have heads that can think and or design what is workable, not mere politicking more so after the failed Entandiikwa loan scheme.
The NRM Government has kept the Government sponsorship which doesnot make much sense any more given that the alleged excelling students are from well to do families at least given that majority are from schools where fees is high. 2ndly, it defeats simple logic to see tuition and upkeep money being net by Government. Is NRM Government for the people of Uganda? If they want to help excelling students where a good number eventually prove academically weak as they are a product of schools that cheat in National exams, it would be wise to pay tuition but not have it with up keep such that some money is saved to improve infrastructure at the Higher institutions of learning such that the private students stop subsidizing the Government students. That way, there is chance of tuition being lower.
NRM Government should head to advice instead of pushing schemes like the proposed educational loan scheme which from the word go will not stand the test of time.
William KituuKa Kiwanuka
STUDENTS TO GET LOANS FOR TERTIARY EDUCATION
The Minister of Education and Sports Namirembe Bitamazire has revealed that her ministry is planning to begin a loan scheme for students that are not able to pay for their tertiary education.
Under the scheme, students in tertiary institutions will be given loans to study and pay back after graduate and getting a job.
Bitamazire told the Parliamentary Committee on Social Services today that the Ministry of Education and Sports will soon put up a secretariat to begin the loan scheme.
She says however her ministry needs to consult and ensure that a loan act is place before make the student loan scheme operational.
Bitamazire says the ministry will also have loan board that will put in place a streamlined procedure of accessing the student loans.
She says the government is hoping that the scheme will help a bigger number of Ugandans to access tertiary education.
The introduction of the scheme follows complaints from many Ugandans that the current few government scholarships are not distributed in a fair and equitable manner to Ugandans. Even though the government introduced a system of granting some government scholarship on district quota basis, some people have still insisted the scheme does not enable all needy students to get access to university education.