300 academically gifted students are set to benefit from the newly launched sh38b scheme by the Forum for African Women Educationists (FAWE) Uganda chapter in partnership with MasterCard Foundation.
The launch took place at Imperial Royale in Kampala on Friday.
The scheme dubbed Higher Education Access is an eight year project and according to FAWE Uganda executive director Christine Ssemambo Ssempebwa, gives a platform to all the academically talented students from economically disadvantaged districts to get quality education.
“The programme is a unique initiative aimed at giving opportunity economically disadvantaged students to realize their dreams and exploit their potential through increasing access to quality education in higher institutions of learning,” said Ssempebwa.
Some of the districts set to benefit from the programme include Adjumani, Amudat, Amuru, Pader, Kaabong among many others.
“The programme offers 100% bursaries to all the learners and all they need is to take themselves to school. There’s need for the beneficiaries to take an opportunity to learn from their peers on how to live responsibly, exercise self-control as well as discipline” she added.
Ssempwebwa said those who have been enrolled under the programme should count themselves lucky and use the opportunity to study hard bearing in mind that although many students applied for the scholarship, majority were not taken due to the limited number of slots.
Currently, the programme is being implemented in universities and institutions such as Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Gulu University, Busitema and Jinja School of Nuursing and Midwifery.
Peter Materu, the Mastercard Foundation director education and learning, noted that the 300 students that are set to benefit from the programme are between ages of 18-25.
He said 60% will undertake degree courses whereas 40% will undertake diplomas adding that the programme focuses on science courses ranging from agriculture to medical and health.
“This programme as well provides second chance at University education for promising students whose academic talent exceeds their financial resources into university studies. It also facilitate pathways to beneficiaries’ internships, industrial practice and employment,” he noted.
The Minister for Science Technology and Innovation, Elioda Tumwesigye, urged the beneficiaries to take advantage of the scholarships and work hard to develop the country as well as their communities.
Tumwesigye, who was the chief guest for the launch ceremony said the government is committed to working with such organisations to improve the quality of education in Uganda.
However, he condemned the irresponsible sexual behaviour students engage in that lead to increase in school dropouts and urged the students to focus on their studies.
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