[editorial] Student financing needs to be revisited

Rwf10,000 will put a little smile on the faces of students of the University of Rwanda. That is the amount of money to be added on their Rwf25,000 monthly stipend.

Rwf10,000 will put a little smile on the faces of students of the University of Rwanda. That is the amount of money to be added on their Rwf25,000 monthly stipend.

The amount could seem to be peanuts in the eyes of many, but to some students, it is a lifeline as not everyone has family members to fall back on.

In fact, most students do not depend on the stipend to survive and when it arrives, it opens doors to merrymaking with most entertainment joints full to the roof with happy students.

The stipend comes as part of the student loan that will be repaid later by the student. The last revision of the stipend was way back in 2002 when it was more than doubled from a measly Rwf11,000.

So, the question is; if the money will be redacted gradually every month once the students begin to earn a living, why can’t they be given sufficient funds to meet all their needs without burdening parents and relatives?

It will also give them a sense of responsibility and learn to think twice before going on a spending binge. The way things stand now, students see the current stipend as a present from the government, to be spent with abandon. Hardly does it sink into their minds that it is a loan.

A student’s needs should be calculated well and be met with the corresponding funds. It will stop students from mixing school and hustling, especially girls who might be soft targets for sexual predators.

Otherwise in the current situation of things, the Rwf35,000 will hardly meet even a fraction of what the students need, it will just be whetting their appetite until the next paycheck.

 

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