Kampala — The Higher Education Students' Financing Board director, Mr Michael Wanyama, has said 1,751 beneficiaries of the students' loan scheme have completed their studies and are expected to start paying the loans they received from government.
Of these, 820 are still under the one-year grace period the board gives to the students after finishing their studies, which they are expected to use to find employment that will enable them service the loan.
Mr Wanyama, however, said the repayment is slow with many of the graduates unable to find work yet.
"At least 931 students are eligible to start paying the loan. The rest are still in their one-year grace period. But this does not stop them from paying if they can find any form of work that has monetary value. We are into a series of meetings and few students have started paying," Mr Wanyama said, but declined to give details on how many had attempted to refund.
He 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.
He said there is no cause for alarm for those who have not found what to do but they are encouraged to continuously update the board on their developments as agreed upon on their repayment schedule.
The board started giving out loans to students four years ago with a Shs5 billion annual contribution.