Kampala — The Uganda Higher Education Students Financing Board has said they have recovered Shs78m of the Shs150m loans from the first cohort of students who completed their studies.
Mr Michael Wanyama, the board’s executive director, said they expect the rest of the money to be paid this financial year. The students are given at least a year after completing school to start paying the government loan.
“These are courses we consider critically demanded. A student who has studied medicine or Bachelor of Science in Education will always find a job. We are doing well on recovering the money. We should be able to recover Shs150m in the first year and we have already collected Shs78m,” Mr Wanyama said at the launch of the online application system at the Office of the Prime Minister in Kampala yesterday.
The board chair, Fr Callisto Locheng, invited applicants for loans for the 2019/2020 academic year and encouraged interested students to utilise the online application, which was launched by the First Lady, Ms Janet Museveni.
Impiger Technologies designed the programme, which Mr Wanyama said will reduce the expenditure spent on staff recruitment.
The board has requested government for Shs35b to enable them admit more students, especially in science disciplines, to universities and other tertiary institutions from the current to 2,000 to 3,000 students.
“We have Shs27.5b. We are short of Shs7.5b. The demand has been increasing every year and we expect it to rise to 5,000 students who need the loans,” Mr Wanyama said.
Ms Museveni said the online application will reduce on errors and asked students who get the loans to ensure they complete their courses in the stipulated time. She acknowledged the growing need for the education loan and said her ministry was negotiating with the ministry of Finance to facilitate this demand.
“Many developing countries can’t provide loans to students to access higher education. Now that Uganda can, guard it jealously. Make sure you do well, finish, get jobs and pay back so that it can be revolving,” Ms Museveni said.
At least 8,190 students have been awarded loans since the scheme was launched in 2014.
About loan scheme
Efforts. Mr Wanyama said the board is currently engaged in sensitising the public and has since signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Uganda Federation of Employers who are supposed to engage their members on their responsibilities once they employ the loan beneficiary. For example, once the beneficiary has received formal employment, deductions of not more than 30 per cent of their net pay should be made to repay the loan every month until it is all recovered. According to Mr Wanyama, the repayment schedule envisages the number of years the student was at the institution.
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Publish date : 2019-04-26 09:12:31