By transferring the disbursement and recovery of government scholarship funds from the Ministry of Education (MINEDUC) to the Development Bank of Rwanda (BRD), a very head-breaking issue has been solved.
Before the new deal was signed, the Students’ Finance Agency for Rwanda (SFAR), had the arduous task of making sure bursaries and other student finances reached the beneficiaries in time.
Many students raised complaints of delays because of the bureaucracy involved. On the other hand, SFAR found it an uphill task when it came to recovering the loans and keeping track of its targets.
It got to a point where employers were directed to deduct the monthly installments form employees’ salaries as many were unwilling to fulfill their obligations voluntarily.
Now, the students will have to deal with a financial institution that has regulatory mechanisms to recover their loans, while the government will remain with identifying and awarding scholarship and bursaries.
Education is expensive; that is why the government stepped in to ease the burden. But SFAR and the loan beneficiaries were not reading from the same script; while SFAR needed to recover the monies owed in order to fund more students, former beneficiaries were in no hurry.
It did not ring a bell that the loans were more like revolving funds and not a free meal ticket. But now that a bank has taken over the reins, former headaches of transferring funds will be a lot easier, and hopefully, beneficiaries will act responsible and fulfill their end of the bargain and pay back in time.