KAMPALA – Uganda needs a Student Loan Scheme similar to Tanzania.
Tanzania has a student loan board that is now Tsh. 500 billion or Ugx 800 billion strong and caters for over 100,000 students annually.
Students apply and obtain between 100% – 40% of tutition and accomodation to the Loan Board. The receiver signs and the guardian too. The loan will be fully recovered and may affect access to promotion on the job, your driving permit or passport application should you fail to pay. Even some Ministers have had to pay. NGOs and private sectors are required through lincensing to recover the loan too.
In the Loan Scheme of Tanzania however, students from private schools and those studying abroad who return to Tanzania for University are rarely considered. The assumption is that your rich benefactor should continue supporting you and not the taxpayer.
So instead of setting rich against poor or establishing untenable district quota system I propose
1) abolish the bursary scheme.
2) establish a student loan scheme.
This should be extended to University colleges and technical institutes.
Now that Uganda has a NIN it will be easy to monitor.
Remember advanced countries too use a student loan scheme and some people spend up to 25 years post-graduation paying for their University education. Ebyangye nibyebyo.
Joseph Tumushabe is a development economic consultant. He currently lives in Tanzania