Parliament has appropriated Shs5.4 billion to cater for Students' Loan Scheme next financial year. The Scheme had remained among the unfunded priorities under the education sector.
But, according to a report by the education committee, intra-sectoral reallocations were made within the education sector budget to cover requirements under the loan scheme. The funding will cater for education needs of 1200 students at university level.
The report presented to parliament by the education committee vice chairperson, Mr Jacob Opolot indicated a reallocation from instructional materials for primary schools to the Students' Loan Scheme.
According to the education ministry policy statement for financial year 2017/2018, Shs21.4 billion had been provided for basic education in the pre-primary and primary education sector under which instructional materials are catered for.
A total of 3,799 students have so far benefited from the programme since its inception three years ago, according to the Higher Education Students' Financing Board (HESFB).
Mr Michael Wanyama, the executive director of the board was recently quoted saying more than 4,000 students apply for students loans every year. He however indicated that the provided funds are not enough to cater for all the applicants.
At least 15 universities and 33 other tertiary institutions benefit from the Students' Loan Scheme funding. Beneficiaries are those students that find difficulties in raising fees since the loans' scheme was introduced to reduce education inequality with government's aim of fighting poverty.
The loan acquired by a student is recovered after a one-year grace period on completion of studies.