Not proper to target the direct beneficiaries of students’ loan scheme

(Last Updated On: 19 July 2023)

Kampala I Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC) is very much concerned about reports that universities especially the public institutions are withholding transcripts of students who studied on government loan scheme under Higher Education Students’ Financing Board (HESFB) on grounds that the Government has faulted on remitting tuition for the students as per the Memorandum of Understanding between the two parties: Government and Universities.

Much as we stand with the Universities on Government’s failure to remit the funds in time, it is not proper to target the direct beneficiaries to recover funds.

The beneficiaries of the loan scheme are the students of vulnerable families who are struggling to make ends meet and are unable to finance the education of their children at higher learning institutions. The only way they are expected to service the loan is to pick the transcripts and search for jobs. However when transcripts are withheld, it becomes very hard to compete for the increasingly scarce jobs in the labour market.

UPC is advising the government and public universities to work out modalities without affecting students and explore ways of how to temporarily employ such categories of graduates for loan servicing purposes as well as a providing as starting point for them (graduates).

One area which can be looked at is the Ministry of Education which all along since independence in October 1962 has made use of untrained teachers who later on were encouraged to do in-service training or post-graduate studies if they are to remain in the education sector, a program that has benefited many. This can be bench-marked on as well as other national programs or opportunities like Parish Development Model.

Local council elections fail to take off like women councils

As we open up our minds to the unfortunate reality, the country sometime back missed an opportunity of holding Women Council Elections with the key reason being lack of financial resources by both government and Independent Electoral Commission.

The same fate has extended to LC 1 elections which have been differed. This trend can equally put the subsequent Special Interest Group elections in balance as well.

Also read: 

Elected office bearers always renew their mandate through an electoral vote, and when such a vote is not exercised it undermines the power of the vote and democracy. It gets more complicated if such office bearers are to sign key documents or preside over important meetings and validity of their decisions can be challenged in courts of law.

UPC is fully aware that democracy is expensive and we have to meet its cost by all means. Our national budgets should always be tailored to meet such electoral needs. These are some of the important areas that can meaningfully call for a supplementary budget.

Otherwise any country that fails to raise funds for such a noble electoral function complicates a governance and leadership goal that undermines directly the efforts towards deepening democracy.

UPC calls upon government even at this late hour to come out boldly and mobilize the necessary resources for holding the delayed Women Council and Local Council 1 elections.

 The writer, Arach Oyat Sharon is the UPC party spokesperson

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *