Government scholarships were given to those that excelled in their A’ Level national exams. Brainy students from various schools were given these scholarships to pursue the courses of their choice that included Arts, Social Sciences, Engineering, Medicine and Law among others.
However, to achieve the best, you must give the best, and that includes a student’s well being at school, a rich curriculum and dedicated teachers. When you investigate the status of parents who take their children to good schools, they usually have decent jobs with a decent salary. These are the same people who are able to pay for their children’s university tuition yet their children are the ones grabbing the scholarships.
A child from a poor family goes to a school with crowded classrooms, a very worrying diet and no access to laboratory material, not even a proper library! When the time for national exams comes, he has no clue about half of the questions. Reason? A poorly paid teacher will not have the motivation to pass on all the necessary information. How then will a student get access to this merit?
The new student loan system considers one’s social category, locally known as “Ubudehe”, and gives bursaries and monthly upkeep allowances only to students whose families are in category one and two of Ubudehe, which includes the poorest in society.
Students whose families are in categories three and four have to pay half the tuition fees and meet their monthly upkeep while those in category five and six foot all their tuition and monthly upkeep. Now this makes a lot of sense unlike the previous system that paid for people who already had the means. The ones that really needed financial aid never even got close to it.
They say you can’t know if a man has money until you deny him food. Well, these people won’t pay a dime until they are actually required to. There are many that have the money but pretend not to.
We are different; that means not everyone is bright! Sure, it’s no one’s fault that another person is ‘slow’, but like I said, some of the conditions in these poor schools will always sabotage great performance. That itself makes it unfair to students who have the potential to ride on a full scholarship but cant because the teacher wasn’t motivated, or the class was overcrowded or they were simply malnourished due to bad food!