During the centennial celebrations at Makerere University last week, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament Thomas Tayebwa presented to President Yoweri Museveni ongoing plans to structure the government sponsorship scheme at Public Universities so that it benefits the poor.
He noted that most children who benefit from government sponsorships come from schools such as St. Mary’s Kisubi, St. Mary’s Kitende, and St. Mary’s Namagunga where parents pay handsomely, most times even more than the tuition paid in some Universities.
He explained that by restructuring the scheme, the government will promote equal access to education.
Commenting on the subject, James Onen aka Fatboy, said the decision might discourage learners from striving for academic excellence since the government awards scholarships to excellent performers.
He queried, “by what metric shall they disqualify people from scholarships? Will it be the schools attended or by some financial verification that schools will submit financial records of parents?” Fatboy asked.
Fatboy, a former Budonian, recounted that some children attend renowned expensive schools but come from humble backgrounds wondering whether the process that targets such schools won’t disqualify such learners.
Additionally, Olive said many government officials have their children on State House scholarships. The leverage still goes to the rich, for instance, children of Ministers and other officials, yet they usually can afford the education.
Commenting on the subject, Pius, a participant on the show, said the vicious cycle of people having money and easier access to more, and vice-versa is true.
Pius explained that such privileges always go to the rich. The money keeps rotating in their circles, leaving the poor even poorer.
He suggested that the government employs the same rigorous process as the MasterCard Foundation to screen out learners that deserve scholarships.
“This will enable the government to fairly award scholarships because there will be accountability and independence of a body that will carry out the investigations. Learners awarded the scholarships on merit,” he said.
The Fatboy show is hosted by James Onen aka Fatboy, Olive, and Sarah every weekday from 6 am to 10 am on RX Radio.