Vigilance needed in new scholarship vetting process

The Students Financing Agency for Rwanda (SFAR), has announced that only 24 percent of the 23,000 university students currently receiving the Rwf25, 000  monthly stipend merits the financial support.

The Students Financing Agency for Rwanda (SFAR), has announced that only 24 percent of the 23,000 university students currently receiving the Rwf25, 000  monthly stipend merits the financial support.

The evaluation came shortly after the government decided to remove students from relatively well-to-do families from the list of beneficiaries, and to increase funding for pre-university education programmes. It must be noted, also, that the vetting exercise was, understandably, conducted expeditiously since the new list is effective begining of the year.

In a related development, the acting Executive Secretary of the Fund for the Support of Genocide Survivors (FARG), said that a new list of beneficiaries from the Fund would be released today, December 31.

The recent screening exercise helped reveal  thousands of FARG-sponsored students who were not bonafide beneficiaries, with reports that some of them were, actually, not Rwandans. If, indeed, these reports are true, a thorough investigation needs to be launched so that those who abused this, otherwise, noble initiative are brought to book.

However, the officials in charge of both screening processes – for SFAR and FARG – should be more carefully to ensure that no one is unfairly excluded from the lists or sneaked onto them.

Those involved need to remain vigilant if they are to clean up the mess that has, particularly, characterized FARG scholarship programme over the past years. The public, too, need to to be involued in the process to correct the previous wrongs, by reporting suspected fraud.

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