Uganda: Review Students Loan Scheme - Prof Kagonyera

14 October 2019

Prof George Mondo Kagonyera has called for a review and streamlining of the Higher Education Students Financing (HESF) scheme for needy students to help them afford tuition for higher education.

Prof Kagonyera said the good-intentioned scheme has been hijacked by the rich who can afford tuition for tertiary and university education, thus depriving the deserving needy beneficiaries of the opportunity to attain higher education.

"My view has always been and remains that the students' loans be directed to students incapable of paying the tuition. It is surprising that students from well- to-do families who can meet the tuition are the ones getting the loans and the needy Ugandans are left out. This injustice should be checked," he said.

Prof Kagonyera made the remarks at the 21st Ndejje University graduation ceremony for 1,988 graduands, who were awarded degrees, diplomas and certificates in different academic fields last on Friday at the university's main campus in Luweero District.

The former Makerere University chancellor and veteran educationist also castigated the current education system in Uganda that has focused more on passing exams than understanding concepts and subjects.

"If you have paid and studied to get a degree through the right channels, then you should not struggle to get a job. I also advise Ugandans to begin questioning the trends with a view of getting the right answers as a solution to whatever fails to add up. I have no problem with an educated person challenging the status quo of our current education," Prof Kagonyera added.

Prof Eriabu Lugujjo, the Ndejje University vice chancellor, said the university has introduced science programmes that offer appropriate training to students.

"This academic year, we started the Faculty of Health Sciences. The university has six faculties... ..We have a fully-fledged water laboratory at the engineering department with a robust programme where Ndejje has twinned with the University of Rotenberg in Germany to facilitate solar powered boreholes in Luweero and Nakaseke districts. We trust that you [graduates] are our ambassadors," Prof Lugujjo said.

Curriculum

Advocacy. The Ndejje University Chancellor, Dr Wilberforce Kisamba Mugerwa, called upon government and the private sector to find a lasting solution to some of the demotivating factors that continue to plague the country's education.

He said many Ugandans have shunned going to university because they are demoralised by the rate of unemployed graduates.

"The curriculum design has been inadequate for both the public and private sector demands. This has increased the problem of unemployment because some of the skills acquired from higher education are unable to address the demands of the labour market. This calls for a review of the higher education," he said.

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