Govt commended for bursary review

Non-governmental organisations advocating for the rights of the youth have commended government over last week’s review of the list of beneficiaries to the university bursary scheme.
Students seeking scholarships at REB offices early this week.  The New Times/John Mbanda.
Students seeking scholarships at REB offices early this week. The New Times/John Mbanda.

Non-governmental organisations advocating for the rights of the youth have commended government over last week’s review of the list of beneficiaries to the university bursary scheme.

The review, which was done through a partnership between the ministries of education and local government, saw over 10,000 students reinstated on full scholarship.

In total, over 13,000 students had complained that they were wrongly classified in Ubudehe categories and subsequently asked to pay either full or half the tuition fees.

While addressing the media in Kigali on Tuesday, representatives of Never Again Rwanda and Ajprodho-Jijukirwa said the Government conducted the review process transparently.

“They handled all the appeals on individual basis and that is a commendable job,” said Eric Mahoro, the executive chairman of Never Again Rwanda.

He added; “The district committees that went door to door helped the government to understand the reality on ground.”

Fred Musiime, in charge of democracy and leadership at Ajprodho-Jijukirwa, concurred with Mahoro, urging the students to always channel their complaints, whenever need arises, to competent authorities.

“The government listens, wherever we feel we are not satisfied with certain policies there are competent institutions that are there to handle these issues,” said Musiime.

Government advised

However, the NGOs urged the Ministry of Education to sort out the cases of few students, who still claim they could not find themselves on the list that came out last week.

Effective the academic year 2013-14, which started on September 2, government rolled out a cost-sharing policy for tertiary education, leaving students from “well off” families to pay for themselves, while others from moderately rich families had to raise half, while the other half would be paid for by government.

The committees that visited every family of the students billed 10,298 (81 per cent) as deserving full bursary coverage and living allowance.

Also, 2,388 (18 per cent) of the complainants were found to be capable of raising half the tuition, Rwf 300,000 and meet their living allowances.

Ninety-two students were found capable of raising Rwf 600,000 which is full tuition after the review of their individual cases.

The initial classification was based on the already existent social classification programme, commonly known as Ubudehe.

The deputy director general in charge of high education student loan department in Rwanda Education Board, Louise Karamaga, told The New Times  yesterday that they are making final lists to submit to public universities, while also correcting some minor errors.

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