By Nasser Kasozi Akandwanaho
The Uganda Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) has revealed that it is going to investigate beneficiaries of the students’ loan scheme in the academic year 2020/2021.
The chairperson of the commission, Madam, Sylvia Ntambi Muwebwa, said in their equal opportunity report last year, they established that students from Eastern Uganda and those with disabilities are not benefiting from these loans.
She said the commission would be keenly watching to establish which students benefit from the loans and where they come from.
“More than 8,497 students are benefiting from the government loan schemes since its establishment but we want to know who these students are and where they come from. We are going to work with the Ministry of Education to get the background of these students,” Muwebwa said.
She notes that students from hard-to-reach areas such as islands and students with disabilities must benefit from the government loans.
Madam, Sylvia Muwebwa made the remarks yesterday while commissioning the 2020/2021 report on compliance of ministerial and local government’s policy statement with gender and equity requirement for 2020/2021 financial year to the Speaker of Parliament.
The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, said they tried to lobby the government to avail Shs5 billion annually to give loans to even more poor students but the Ministry of Education said it did not have enough funds.
She also said there has been a distant resolution to have the government abolish the current government scholarship schemes which she said benefit the children of the rich but to date, the resolution has gone to waste.
“You should put the government on pressure to channel all the money it spends on government scholarship into these loans so that children of the poor can benefit because children of the poor miss out on the government scholarship and from the loans,” Kadaga said.
The Higher Education Students’ Financing Board that is in charge of the students’ loan scheme yesterday asked all Ugandan students who are unable to pay their tuition to apply for the loans for the 2020/21 academic year.
According to the executive director of Higher Education Students’ Financing Board, Mr. Michael Wanyama, only 1,200 students are slated to benefit from the students’ loans with the deadline for application slated for July 31.