The Ministry of Education and Sports has been asked to consider increasing the number of students benefiting from University loan scheme after it emerged that over 5,000 applicants missed out.
It should be noted that that last week, the Ministry of Education in conjunction with the Higher Education Students’ Financing Board announced that 1,834 students had been awarded study loans by Government under the Students’ Loan Scheme for the academic year 2019/2020.
The Board while addressing journalists at Uganda Media Center blamed the failure of some students failing to qualify on missing out on the deadline while others submitted incomplete application forms.
Some students missed out due to unaccredited programmes, unapproved higher education institutions and unapproved programmes by the board.
This high number of students missing out has attracted the attention of MPs, with Kalungu WestMP, Joseph Ssewungu calling on the Ministry of Finance to prevail over the matter and ensure that the number of students are increased.
“7,310 students applied and 1,834 students were taken and 5,476 students were left out. These very students have petitioned the board because they have no other alternative. What can we do for all these students and indeed the money they take, they pay it meaning they are stranded,” Ssewungu said.
Betty Aol, Leader of Opposition also weighed into the matter describing the students left out as a time bomb, arguing, “We need to invest a lot in our people not only buildings, roads, but we need investments in our population more than any other thing. This one needs immediate borrowing because it is a calamity, we can’t wait over 5000 students to be left out there is a big problem. Sometimes we borrow for not important issues, let us have a supplementary for this and we will not hesitate to pass it.”
David Bahati, State Minister for Planning, Ministry of Finance requested for more time to consult with his counterparts from the Ministry of Education and return back to Parliament.
“I have just received this number of students who qualify but they haven’t been assisted. We are going to get in touch with Ministry of Education. We understand the urgency of this matter even ascertain if the numbers you are talking about and ensure that this situation is going to be handled and give it the importance it deserves,” said Bahati.