By Mukembo Wilfred
The Leader of Government Business, also the Prime Minister, has been urged to expeditiously present a comprehensive report on the progress of financing of the Students’ Loan Scheme.
Speaker Anita Among made the directive following media reports on the challenges affecting students in higher institutions of learning, including failure to sit for exams due to non-payment of tuition as a result of delayed disbarment of loans.
“We need to help these students and that is why we are here. We are the voice of the voiceless so we should speak for them. We should make sure they do exams and we will expect a report on this matter,” Among said.
The scheme is implemented by the Higher Education Students’ Financing Board (HESFB) established in February, 2014 by an Act of Parliament with a mandate to provide loans and scholarships to Ugandan students to pursue higher education.
The Speaker, who chaired the plenary sitting on Wednesday, 23 November 2022, also directed that the report should address matters of equity in access to the loan scheme.
Earlier on Tuesday, 22 November 2022, Hon. Boniface Okot (NRM, Youth Representative Northern), raised concern about delayed disbursement of funds by the Ministry of Education and Sports to the scheme.
Okot noted that in the 2022 academic year, the delay rendered all financially incapable students unable to register with their respective universities and they risked not writing their exams.
“The ministry should also explain how they will guarantee equity in the students’ loan and subsequently table names of beneficiaries to this House,” Okot prayed.
The Prime Minister, Robinah Nabbanja, said that there was overwhelming demand from students seeking to access the loans and went ahead to commit that the education ministry would present the report as guided by the House.