KIST students still in dilemma

Students risk failing exams for lack of allowances Students at the Kigali Institute of Science Technology (KIST) are facing welfare hurdles to the extent that some have been expelled from their residences due to arrears accumulated in rent.

Students risk failing exams for lack of allowances

Students at the Kigali Institute of Science Technology (KIST) are facing welfare hurdles to the extent that some have been expelled from their residences due to arrears accumulated in rent.

Early last month this paper disclosed the financial constraints that KIST students were facing caused mainly by the delay in the disbursement of their allowances which are given to all government-sponsored students. But according to reports, the problem looks to be far from over.

KIST, which has a population of over 2,600 students, can accommodate only 200 on campus leaving the rest to seek accommodation elsewhere: These are the ones facing challenges with unpaid rent.

The Rwf 25,000 per month given to every student through the Students Financing Agency (SFAR) in all public universities in the country covers accommodation, feeding and facilitation expenses.

Speaking to The New Times, some students who have been evicted by their land lords confirmed that they are spending their nights in the campus hall watching movies.

“I am spending my nights in front of the television at the campus hall because I have been kicked out of the house by my land lord,” said Fabrice Mugisha one of the students.

This comes at a time when students are preparing to sit for their end of semester exams which, according to the students’ representatives, may lead to poor performance.

“We are about to begin our exams and students are facing financial constraints which may lead to their failure in the coming exams,” said Guild president Martin Ruvugabigwi.

The vice Rector in charge for Finance and Administration (VRAF), Thomas Gatabazi, had last time attributed the delays to changes in the system in which the money was being disbursed.

Gatabazi had also promised that the problem was going to be solved at once since SFAR had released money for January and February, but students got money for January only.

In a phone interview, the head of SFAR, Emmanuel Muvunyi, said that the agency had already sent  money to cover the period up to March, but said that Gatabazi had told him that there were some issues they were still trying to solve.

When contacted last evening, Gatabazi said that he had been trying to solve some errors that had occurred in the processing system at National Bank of Rwanda (BNR) and Bank of Kigali (BK) where the students have accounts.

“I have been trying to solve some errors that occurred in the students’ lists with BNR and also looking for a way with BK in which we can smoothly give out the money,” he stressed.

“The problem has been solved and the people at BK told me that they were going to start giving out the money to the students today at 4.00pm.”

However, by press time the students had not received the money.

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