Minister of Education Dr. Papias Malimba Musafiri says the long term bursary saga should be discussed and draw common understanding on the issue, which most think it is kind of money given to students through their accounts or hand-in-hand to help survive.
During a press conference on Friday, Minister Musafiri said that people forget that there is another part of payment which cost the government a bigger amount of money on infrastructure, laboratory equipments, recruiting and paying lecturers and other employees working in different departments of the University.
He said,” This is a really much bigger part, which should be considered as bursary or a loan given to a student”
He added that a small part of the bursary loan given to a student for food and accommodation, is a contribution that the government provides because a bigger part goes in other academic spendings.
“To better understand this, why do we only look back to university schools and not in secondary ones?” he wondered.
Talking about secondary schools, the government builds more class rooms, equipments, paying teachers, designs academic curriculum and other stuffs required while parent contributes in feeding children at school.
He said,” it is parents’ responsibility to pay school feeding fees. That is kind of contribution, and this should be understood well in Universities as well because the government can’t fund 100 per cent facilities to university students”
“I want you to clearly understand this, that whenever the government wants to build quality education by lining up well equipped laboratories, with teachers well trained by experts and other required needs. this is a very important contribution,” he further explained.
Minister Musafiri also underlined that people should understand the fact that parents should come up with additional contributions, ensuring that the government’s current support could surely increase depending on the positive changes of the country’s economic growth in the future.
He remains positive that the government will continue to provide the biggest part it is used to paying for the interest of students, since they are not yet able to afford to pay it on their own.
A Rwf 25 000-monthly bursary loan is given to students from vulnerable families studying in public universities, where many of whom are classified in first and second Ubudehe divisions, which are reserved for vulnerable families.
It was in 2001 since the government started to give living allowances to university students. However, students claim the amount should be increased, saying it is no longer enough to satisfy their needs following the price rise on the markets.
About increasing the living allowances, the Member of Parliament, Senate Chamber, suggested that the Rwf 25000 living allowances no longer match the the country’s current development status and the market demands.