HUYE — Government has ruled out increasing student loans offered to government sponsored students in tertiary institutions.
In a meeting with the National University of Rwanda student fraternity last Friday, the Minister of Education Dr. Daphrose Gahakwa said that students benefiting from the loan scheme should instead put the little they get to maximum use.
Last year over 38,000 students qualified for government sponsorship. However the government could only sponsor about 7,000.
The Minister said that the benefiting students should count themselves privileged and put the loans to their intended use.
“The loan however small it may seem , is enough incentive for you to achieve your academic dreams. Government cannot meet all of your needs but we are making all efforts to meet the basics for you to succeed in your education,” said Dr. Gahakwa.
Students on government sponsorship in different tertiary institutions in the country receive between Rwf.1.2 Million and Rwf.1.5 Million depending on their field of study.
The State Minister in charge of primary and secondary education, Theoneste Mutsindashyaka, who accompanied the Minster, told the students that instead of increasing student loans government would consider increasing the number of students it sponsors.
“We want as many people as possible to access education. Funds permitting, we would instead sponsor more students in tertiary institutions,” said Mutsindashyaka.
The State Minister warned the university students against embracing acts of indiscipline reminding them that they should be role models because they are considered as the cream of society.
The students used the forum to air some of the grievances they had. Students expressed concern on what they termed as insufficient infrastructure and related amenities including lack of academic staff.
Regarding the processing of the sponsorship proceeds, the students complained about the late deliveries saying that a number of beneficiaries at times had their names missing from the disbursing agency lists.
The ministers promised to address some of the highlighted problems with Student Financing Agency, SFAR.
During the same meeting, Minister Mutsindashyaka defended the nine year basic education programme labelling it ‘pro-poor’.
“After nine years, students who do not continue with formal education will be old enough to venture into other fields like vocational and technical training. We believe that many students will be able to continue their education because the schools are close to them,” said Mutsindashyaka.
The minister revealed that nearly all the pupils who completed primary six last year have been enrolled into lower secondary.
Sources further revealed that the Ministers had earlier in the day held a closed door meeting with members of the academic staff where the issue of remuneration featured prominently.