The Islamic community in Rwanda, in partnership with the Africa Muslim Agency DirectAid, has dedicated Rwf 68.5m for scholarships to 160 students.
According to the Mufti of Rwanda, Sheikh Saleh Habimana, the support was a result of collaboration between the Ministry of Education, Islamic leaders and officials from DirectAid.
“We allocated Rwf 13.5m to secondary students while Rwf 55m was allocated to those in universities. The majority of them (beneficiaries) are doing sciences, including two who are pursuing their Masters’ degree,” Habimana said.
The study grant would benefit 70 students in secondary schools and 80 in institutions of higher learning.
Habimana added that one of the reasons to raise the funds, was to address the issue of students’ upkeep, following the recent decision by government to scrap students’ stipends.
“We support the government’s decision of scrapping bursaries on the basis that these students have families, friends, churches and mosques that can help them survive,” the Mufti said, adding that the government should instead concentrate in setting up more and well equipped educational infrastructure.
The Minister of Education, Charles Murigande, called on all faith-based NGOs to emulate DirectAid and urged other religions to take on a similar initiative.
The Country Director of DirectAid, Mahmud Addul Azim, said that the study grant was one of their major programmes in Rwanda since they started operations 20 years ago. He pledged to continue implementing programs geared towards uplifting the lives of vulnerable Rwandans, especially children and widows.