By Chris Kiwawulo
BESIDES free Universal Secondary Education in Uganda, several organisations and private schools offer scholarships to students who excel but cannot afford to pay their fees. Organisations mainly offer scholarships to needy students while schools sponsor best performing and talented students.
Talented students are those engaged in football, netball, athletics and boxing. Schools that strictly take bright but needy students do not always exceed 10 scholarships except when there is an external sponsor.
In some schools, however, the scholarships are partial; where a student pays half of the fees and the school foots the remaining part. Below are some of the several organisations and schools that offer scholarships.
The Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE)
Established in 1997, FAWE is a pan-African NGO that addresses girlsâ€™ education in Africa as a strategy towards achieving education for all.
The organisation has helped over 4,000 Ugandans to get education. FAWE Uganda programme officer, Christine Karungi, says 49 scholarships are for girls, while 21 are for boys. This year, it has 70 scholarships.
Prospective beneficiaries must submit a handwritten application accompanied by recommendations from the school head teacher and the LC 1 chairperson of their area of residence. FAWE is located in Bukoto, a Kampala city suburb.
Kulika Charitable Trust
It is based in Nsambya and supports students from disadvantaged backgrounds with potential to contribute to the development of their country. It particularly supports applications from northern Uganda that were affected by the LRA war.
The Uganda Village Project (UVP)
Based in Iganga district, the UVP scholarship fund gives needy children secondary education.
Founded in 2004, UVP has provided scholarships to over 130 orphans and vulnerable children to attend secondary school. The fees range from $35 (about sh70,000) to $50 (about sh100,000) per term, depending on the school.
Busoga Integrated Development and Care Foundation
Proponents of this project argue that although there is universal primary and secondary education, many orphans cannot make it to school because they have nothing at all.
Eligibility is for needy orphans from Busoga. They have to prove that they passed Primary Leaving Examinations and possess a local council letter from the villages within the region.
Batebe Foundation of Toro
This foundation has a number of humanitarian projects endorsed by the Kingdom of Toro. Among these is a special education fund for needy children.
Besides, one of the main duties of King Oyo is to lobby for donations for economic and social welfare projects for the wellbeing of his subjects. These include health, education, economic and cultural projects.
National Union of Disabled Persons in Uganda (NUDIPU)
This association assists disabled persons.
Among the services the organisation extends to persons with disabilities is education and provision of scholastic materials like braille for blind students.
Action Aid Uganda
This NGO connects needy children in poor nations to their sponsors from wealthy nations.
Some of the children get sponsored up to university level. Applicants write to Action Aid seeking sponsors. The organisation then connects the two parties to those willing to offer a hand. The applicant must submit passport photos and be seconded by the local authorities in the area of residence.
World Vision Uganda
World Vision, a Christian-founded global NGO helps needy children attain education through sponsorships. The money is paid directly to the schools with which they collaborate.
The Uganda Womenâ€™s Effort to Support Orphans (UWESO)
As the name suggests, UWESO helps orphans mostly infected or affected by HIV/AIDS. The organisation helps such disadvantaged children to secure scholarships so that they can have a better chance in life.
The Buganda Cultural and Development Foundation
This NGO was founded in 1994 by Buganda Kingdom to improve peopleâ€™s welfare. Under BUCADEF, there is the Scholarship Fund under which many orphans in Buganda have acquired education. The fund largely receives support from Baganda living in New York and New Jersey, US. It benefits bright but needy Baganda students.
Closely related to this is the Kabakaâ€™s Education Fund, first established in 1955 during the reign of Sir Edward Muteesa II.
Thousands of Baganda students have benefited from the fund.
He Intends Victory Uganda (HIVU)
This is a Christian-based organisation that helps children orphaned by HIV/AIDS in Kitiko-Birongo, Wakiso district. With its head offices located at Seguku, six miles along Entebbe
There are also scholarships offered by donor countries and channeled through the Ministry of Education to needy students. These are handled by the ministryâ€™s central scholarship committee in the department of higher education.
The ministry pins available scholarships on its notice board and sometimes publicises them through the media, mostly radio and newspapers, for prospective applicants. It is the ministry that decides who qualifies for these scholarships after assessing the applications from prospective beneficiaries.
Schools that offer scholarships
Turkish Light Academy Lweza in Wakiso district: It offers scholarships to best performing students who are needy. Aydin Hakki, the head teacher, says needy candidates with aggregate four and five are admitted to S.1. Currently, the school has 45 students on scholarship.
Kawempe Royal College located on Bombo Road in Wakiso district: John Kaddu, the deputy head teacher, says students who perform fairly well and are talented in other areas are considered.
St. Lawrence Schools have helped scores of bright but needy students to get an opportunity to study.
St. Maryâ€™s Secondary School Kitende, Entebbe Road: Although it also considers academic excellence, it sponsors students talented mainly in football.
Uganda Martyrs Secondary School, Namugongo: The management of the school says it gives 10 scholarships under the Sabasumba (Archbishop) Scholarship Fund to bright but disadvantaged students.
Kakoola High School: Located in Bamunanika, Luwero district, is a project started by influential people from Luwero who work in Kampala. The school gives out 20 scholarships every year to bright, disciplined but needy students.
Seeta High School: Each of the two campuses in Mukono district gives 10 scholarships to bright but disadvantaged students from Bulemeezi which was ravaged by the 1981-1986 war. Beneficiaries must be the rural poor who cannot afford secondary school education.
Kings Way High School, located on Entebbe Road, offers scholarships to bright but needy students every year with a view to support education in Uganda and promote brilliant minds.
Students must prove they qualify by producing their Primary Leaving Examination certificates. Other schools that offer scholarships to needy but talented students include; Kibuli Secondary School, Nagalama Islamic, Mulusa Academy, Bombo Army Secondary School and Ndejje Secondary School.