It is perfectly sensible for the government to decide to alter the way the student loan system works. Although it is somewhat understandable that some sections of the Rwandan society are unhappy about the new policy, I am of the view that it was about time the government changed its position.
Firstly, higher education cost-sharing policy would free-up necessary funds for development projects that require immediate attention. For instance, the recent introduction of the 12 YBE will require extensive investment to improve basic education quality and sustainability.
Secondly, this new policy would inadvertently create and stimulate a savings culture among Rwandans. For example, it is very likely that if parents understand that the burden of sending children to university was on them, they would plan for their family accordingly. As a result, responsible parents would start saving for a child’s higher education fund at a very early stage allowing for children to enjoy the benefits of the savings culture.
It is, therefore, valid that the government should only help families that are not capable of cultivating a savings culture due to income related reasons. Fears from certain sections of society are only based on naivety and such people should look at the bigger picture that is capable of achieving short term and long term multiple results.
Let us not panic, let us learn to save money.
Junior Sabena Mutabazi, London, United Kingdom
Reaction to the Editorial, “Govt can no longer bear the burden of education alone”, (Editorial, The New Times, September 26)