Ministry of Local Government has ambitiously revised the mode of sponsorship for Genocide survivor students. The ministry is the parent institution for FARG, a programme established purposely for education of children who lost parents in 1994.
Previously FARG was submitting the students’ money and other materials to districts, which would in turn make transfers to individual schools. The process could be long and tedious, even attracting bank charges along the way, yet these charges used not to be considered as the funding organisation sent money. The result would be tuition fees and upkeep money reaching the final destination, schools, not in full amounts, creating top-up problems or losses.
Now according to the new method, students will be paid their money directly. Then they will proceed to make own payment of schools fees, purchase scholastic materials and personal effects, and save some as pocket money.
This is decentralisation at work. There is no doubting the efficiency that will come with the change, since the transfer-related bottlenecks shall be eliminated.
With this new way a few challenges will be avoided too. For example it will mark the end of students obtaining materials from FARG whose poor quality and the amount spent on them do not add up. In a situation where beneficiaries are totally in charge of their own resources, chances of abusing the fund will be greatly minimised.
However, like everything good will almost always come at a cost, the price here is a test for levels of responsibility on the part of the young people. Secondary school girls and boys with all the cash, including tuition fees, in their hands can easily develop creative ideas of how to spend the money.
It is possible for a student to postpone settlement of school dues because they want to lend a friend, probably on interest. Another one might think acquiring a mobile telephone, or for those who have, loading it with airtime so that they say bye to beeping, could make them better candidates. Temptations to put the money, at least temporarily, to different use can be many. Which is why close monitoring of this new mode of payment is necessary, to ensure early detection of any unforeseen challenges.