Parliament Passes Higher Education Financing Law

2360 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
The bill intends to establish a scheme in Uganda to finance students to pursue higher education; to establish the Higher Education Students Financing Board; to set up a Fund to finance the scheme; and to provide for the management and administration of the fund.

Parliament has passed the Higher Education students financing bill, 2013 into an Act after the committee of the whole house adopted the Education Committee report with amendments.
 
The passing on Thursday comes after the Parliamentary Sectoral Committee on Education and Sports chaired by Mityana Woman MP Sylvia Namabidde okayed Bill in its report to the House this week and recommended to Parliament to pass it into law.
 
The bill intends to establish a scheme in Uganda to finance students to pursue higher education; to establish the Higher Education Students Financing Board; to set up a Fund to finance the scheme; and to provide for the management and administration of the fund.
 
Clauses 15 to 21 of the new law provide for the establishment of a Higher Education Students Financing Scheme consisting of loans and scholarships provided by the Board to eligible students to pursue higher education.
 
Education Minister Jessica Alupo noted that the resources available in the Education Ministry to expedite the process of implementation will be channeled using the right procedure to see that the beneficiaries of the scheme are generated from the country.
 
She assured that no issues of discrimination in the beneficiaries will occur saying that the Ministry will ensure all students from all regions in the country benefit from the scheme.
 
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Nathan Nandala Mafabi, the Leader of Opposition, noted that recruiting the required staff to handle the scheme could take a long time without mechanisms in place, saying that there should always be a transitional method to handle such laws of urgency. Mafabi advised that the Education Ministry should ensure that there are mechanisms to disburse the funds to the students in this financial year so that it does not run into the next financial year.
 
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Speaker Rebecca Kadaga directed the Clerk to Parliament to do the proof reading of the bill as quickly as possible so that copies of the bill are sent to the President for assenting before Christmas.
 
In the 2013/2014 Financial Year Budget, Government allocated 6 billion shilling to the Students Financing Scheme to enable Students in Higher institutions of learning who cannot afford tuition fees access money through loans and later pay back after school.

 

About the author

Olive Nakatudde
Olive Nakatudde is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Nakatudde has been a URN staff member since 2013.

Nakatudde started out in journalism in 2009 with Dembe FM radio in Kampala. In 2012, Nakatudde joined Voice of Africa as a political reporter. She has been a photographer since her journalism school days at Makerere University.

Nakatudde is interested in good governance and public policy, which she reports on intensively from the Uganda Parliament. She is a keen follower of cultural affairs in Buganda Kingdom and covers the kingdom's Lukiiko (parliament). Nakatudde also reports on education and health.