The Ministry of Education is set to increase on students benefiting from the loan scheme fund. This is after Parliament directed the ministry to seek for a supplementary budget to increase on number of beneficiaries.
Speaker, Rebecca Kadaga issued the directive after James Kaberuka, the Kinkizi West MP complained that although 7,000 students applied for the loan scheme fund, only 1,500 benefited, leaving 5,500 students with no hopes of furthering their education due to limited government funds to take on more students.
Kaberuka said that the students from poor family do not get funding of their education to university since they could only afford about Shs150,000 for fees each term at secondary level and university education is too expensive for such families and the decision by the Ministry to reduce the beneficiaries has dashed the students hopes of obtaining university degrees.
Rosemary Seninde, Minister of State Primary Education said that the Ministry’s decision was informed by the limited funding allocated to the scheme in the 2019/2020 financial year where only Shs2.4bn was allocated to the scheme.
“The loan scheme only benefits those students who are doing science courses at the university and other diploma courses and also students who are disabled are also given this opportunity. We have always given the public notice on how they can apply and when they apply, the loan scheme board sits and does the selection,” Seninde said.
The Speaker asked the Minister if they could consider a supplementary budget and if there were plans to write to the Ministry Of Finance to work out on the supplementary budget for additional funds for the loan scheme.
“What the lawmakers want to her is whether you would apply for a supplementary to support the additional students. Can you write to the Minister of Finance and support the supplementary?” Kadaga said.
Seninde asked to return to Parliament with more information to allow Lawmakers make an informed decision on additional funding.