Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Student Loan Scheme in Uganda will only be sustainable if it politics is out of its management

What makes many of NRM’s policies outrageous is how they focus on one
major thing, that is ‘how they can gain at a certain point’ but not
sustainability. This makes the regime to take the country on
unsustainable ventures more over after wide publicity. You cannot
start a loan scheme in Uganda and say students get funds and pay
after. It simply does not make economic sense. What Uganda needs is
not copying what has been done elsewhere, but to originate what will
There are options to take by a student after H SC, and one of them is
University Education. It was cheap sponsoring a student in 1980 at
Makerere because even a Nursery school teacher would comfortably do
so. The pay made economic sense. Today, it doesn’t that is why a
serious Government would look for ways to bail out parents but
thinking about sustainability. Help a parent pay say shs 30,000 per
month over a period of time because there is no guarantee that th
child will get work after University and if he got the work, a child
would manage to pay back something when he is paid at least shs
500,000. How many can get such jobs. The reasons why our countries
will remain backward and beggars is simply the myopic decisions made
which have short term gains like in this case the 2011 elections.
I have since 2001 been an advocate for an Educational Loan Scheme but
never a non – sustainable one.
The American poet Robert Frost once said about the privilege of a
higher education, that “Education doesn’t change life much. It just
lifts trouble to a higher plane of regard”.
A cynical view perhaps, but one no doubt shared by heaps of tertiary
students, for while people prattle on about broadening horizons and
intellectual challenges in under-graduate and post-graduate education,
the fact is that the issues that really matter to students are simple
ones – access and affordability – can they get in, and can they afford
to stay there?
A non sustainable loan scheme which may die as soon as it is
instituted as did the Entandiikwa will be most unfortunate.

Willy Kituuka

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