Friday, April 28, 2017

Mrs. #Museveni grilled over grants to private Universities - #Uganda

It is about that time of the year when the budget for the financial year 2017/2018 is in the reading pipeline. Yesterday a parliamentary committee chaired by Mbale Woman MP Hon Connie Nakayenze Galiwango paraded officials from the Ministry of education led by the First Lady Hon Janet Kataha Museveni who also doubles as the Minister of the sector.
A lot of policy issues were tabled but for the Higher Institutions of learning, the ministry was roasted over the shs 500 million presidential pledge granted to University of Kisubi. The legislators on the committee were bitterly perturbed by the fact that the conditions of public universities are quite alarming due to inadequate funding allocated from the ministry however such monies are being allocated to private Universities to aide in their running as the former is starving on deficits.
The president pledged 500m to be channeled to University of kisubi annually after attending the launch of its state of the art Science Laboratory a year ago. According to the committee, directions were given to stop this grant from appearing on the ministry budget but instead be channeled to the Presidential gifts budget that is allocated Shs 80 billion annually.
The committee was shocked to the knees to see the same amount appearing on the budget consequently. They also pointed out other institutions that suck on government money yet they are self sustaining. These include Bishop Stuart University in Mbarara, Kumi University, Nkumba University, Mountains of the moon in fortportal and John Harrell Institute.
In defense, the ministry said the money allocated to University of Kisubi was being used to sponsor over 100 students to study science courses a response the committee totally refused to concede with. They attributed all the money granted to private universities as part of the Public-Private Partnership.
During the next committee meeting, the ministry officials are expected to table a list of the 100 beneficiaries of the scheme who will also be incorporated into the Loan Scheme. More Student sponsorship schemes remain a mystery as far as their operation is concerned. A case in point raised was the State House Scholarship scheme.
“I request we reconsider holding hands together to look for solutions instead of penalizing each other…” said the Mister of Education.
By Our Reporter

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