EDITORIAL: Repaying student loans is a civic duty

Of late, debate has been raging on regarding repaying government bursaries by beneficiaries of scholarships to universities.

Of late, debate has been raging on regarding repaying government bursaries by beneficiaries of scholarships to universities.

Those who benefited before the law was introduced argue that they did not enter into any agreement with the government prior to taking on the scholarships. They could be legally right; as what was once regarded as a free scholarship is now a loan.

 

But looking beyond the legal implications and donning the patriotic and social protection cloak; why not play your part so that someone else also benefits from the same facility?

 

The payment terms are friendly since deductions can be made on one’s salary over a period of time.

 

On the other hand, many who signed contracts and benefited from the government’s largesse are defaulting, even those in lucrative jobs or are running businesses. Where is their conscience?

The bottom line here is that the government needs everyone’s input to surmount the many challenges, and the most crucial being empowering the people.

So repaying the loans should be a civic duty; even the most vulnerable in society play their part without whining.

Take an example of beneficiaries of government social protection programmes, such as Girinka and Ubudehe, which target the most vulnerable in society.

A poor family that receives a cow is expected to pass on the first calf to the next poor family. Similarly, Ubudehe is a collective effort to solve problems in society; it could be pooling resources together to buy someone medical insurance or helping on the farm.

All these are based on longstanding traditions that helped interweave Rwandan society. They have helped uplift over a million people from poverty.

So, how can the so-called “upper echelon” of society abscond from duty?

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