President Museveni launches Student Loan Scheme, test-drives Kyambogo car that uses ethanol instead of petroleum

Thursday 24th April 2014

President Yoweri Museveni has launched the student’s loan scheme marking the apex of governments’ education fund plan for poor families that started in 1996 with UPE and USE.

The scheme that starts with Shs 6bn will see a gradual increase each year with the phasing out of the state House scholarships.

 “We shall be starting with Shs 6bn but this money will increase. In my office I have been supporting many students from Luwero, Northern Uganda, Karamoja etc under the statehouse scholarships.”

“Now I want to phase out these scholarships. We have been getting up to Shs 30bn annually but now once these children we took on finish, no new ones will be taken on. This money will be added on this loan scheme,” he said.

Speaking Thursday during the colourful launch at Kyambogo University, the President first unveiled Kyambogo University’s master plan before test driving a car that uses ethanol biogas by the university science students and later toured science stalls while interacting with the students and lecturers.

He said science students will be the priority while arts students will be considered later.

Initially the total loan amount will be Shs 4million to cater for tuition and research while other components like accommodation, meals and transport will be cost shared by students.

“I want all of you to know that this government attaches a lot of importance on education. Proof? We are spending Shs 1.6trillion every year on the sector and this year that amount will go up to Shs 1.7trillion. These scientists making these products should not only stop on learning this here but when you graduate we want to support you to manufacture them. All those who can make machines or machine parts, the fund for innovation which is worth Shs 50bn will help those with skills and technology to convert them into products,” he said.

The President who said he was happy that Kyambogo University was now peaceful with no unnecessary strikes urged beneficiaries to pay back the loans when they get jobs to avoid being arrested for defaulting and also to allow the scheme to grow and benefit many more poor Ugandans.

The President said he will work with the Attorney General to see how to retrieve the university land that was parcelled out to private investors so that the institution can implement its grand plan.

On the issue of understaffing, the President called on the university to exploit the little available resources saying there are various projects including roads, railways, electricity etc all competing for resources.

The Minister of State for Higher Education Hon. John Chrysostom Muyingo hailed the President for what he described as scoring three goals in one game, by fulfilling a pledge he made in his 2011 manifesto to provide loans to students, supporting youth to acquire higher education etc.

He urged the beneficiaries to exercise utmost good faith when provided the loans and also not to lie about their bio-data. He also called on the students to pay back the loans to ensure that more students benefit from the fund.

The Vice Chancellor Kyambogo University Prof. Elly Katunguka said the scheme is a clear testimony that higher education will be funded and be made available to millions of Uganda children.

 

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