Uganda’s Minister of Education and Sports Jessica Alupo has announced that the country’s President, Yoweri Museveni will launch the long awaited students’ loan scheme on 24 April 2014. The launch will take place at Kyambogo University.
The Education Minister made the announcement on Friday while addressing over 200 Resident District Commissioners, Deputy RDCs, Regional Internal Security Officers, and Regional Police Commanders currently on a one week retreat at the National Leadership Institute (NALI), Kyankwanzi.
Following the passage of the law to govern the students’ loan scheme, Cabinet has also approved the Governing Board for the scheme. The loan scheme has received an initial amount of Uganda Shillings 5 billion shillings to cater for over 1,000 students at university especially those who are specializing in Science subjects.
According to Alupo, government has also released five billion shillings (5bn/=) this financial year for the teachers’ SACCO.
UNATU and education ministry have been locked in a battle over the management of the funds.
Last year, president Museveni pledged 25 billion shillings to the teachers which would be disbursed annually to a tune of five billion shillings.
While the education ministry wants to manage the funds through a service provider, UNATU insists the funds should be given to the teacher’s SACCO directly, which the ministry has flatly rejected. Alupo says many teachers abscond from school because they are evading arrest after defaulting on loans borrowed from banks and other money lenders at exorbitant commercial rates.
Alupo cautioned education institutions undertaking UPE and USE not to send away pupils who have not paid additional charges being demanded by schools. A cabinet paper on school feeding programme has been approved and will soon be laid before parliament, Alupo said, so that the issue of feeding school children can be effectively addressed.