Members of Parliament sitting on the Education Committee have expressed concern over the failure by government to allocate funds for the next cohort of students under the Students’ Loan Scheme.
According to the Ministry of Education and Sports Ministerial Financial Statement for the Financial year 2017/2018, page the Students’ Loan Scheme for the next cohort is appearing on the unfunded priorities list.
Palisa County MP, buy Jacob Richards Opolot in the committee meeting condemned government’s failure to allocate funds to support students under the scheme most of whom are impoverished.
“The Ministry should by all means find ways to ensure that such a funding gap is covered to enable the poor students proceed with their studies, this site ” Opolot said while interfacing with the Minister of Education, Janet Kataha Museveni on Wednesday.
Responding to the concerns of members, Minister Janet said she was fully aware that this is a key priority program of government and the Ministry is continuing to engage the Ministry of Finance to cater for it.
“It is important to note that financing the Loan Scheme will be self funding when the first cohort of students for the courses running for 4 and 5 years are completed and then funds will start revolving.”
She also revealed that about Shs. 2bn is available from students who completed 3 years Science courses but the funds will be used to settle outstanding contractual obligations with suppliers which is very critical in the management of the loans.
“It is therefore the obligation of the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development to provide additional funding until the aforesaid cycle is complete,” she said.