There are two things that should be done. First, to extend the deadline, for application, and also to make arrangements nationwide for completion of application and submission for students not at school.
EDUCATION | PARLIAMENT
The education ministry has extended the deadline for application and submission of the student loan scheme to August 31, 2020.
According to Rosemary Seninde, the Minister of State for Primary Education, the deadline for application for the loan scheme had been set for July 31, 2020.
"The higher education loan scheme board sat on July 23, after realising that it was going to be impossible for our students to apply and we extended the deadline to August 31, 2020," Sseninde told Parliament recently.
Seninde's communication followed concerns from MPs about the July deadline, which they said was not in favour of the targeted beneficiaries.
Rising the matter as an issue of national importance, Soroti municipality MP Herbert Ariko, said the July 30 set deadline would lock out many students who cannot find their headteachers to sign their application forms.
According to Ariko, the current COVID-19 restrictions have made it hard for the applicants to go to their former institutions of learning and also to access those responsible for signing the application forms.
He said: "My plea is that the education ministry and the higher education loan scheme board considers extending the deadline because of the pandemic, so that Ugandans don't miss out on the opportunity."
Responding to Ariko's concern, Kadaga asked the Government to consider extending the deadline to bring on board other students that are likely to miss out because of the July 30 deadline.
"There are two things that should be done. First, to extend the deadline, for application, and also to make arrangements nationwide for completion of application and submission for students not at school," Kadaga said.
By the time Kadaga made the ruling on the matter, the education minister was not represented in the House.
After about an hour, Seninde came to the House and said the ministry had extended the application deadline.
As one of the measures to combat COVID-19, the Government in March closed all institutions of learning, which remain closed, making it hard for students to access the necessary documents required for the application process.
The Government recently called for applications from Ugandans, who have been admitted for the undergraduate and diploma programmes for the coming academic year.
As part of the requirements, students are required to have an admission to an accredited programme from the approved universities and other tertiary institutions.
Besides O'level and A'level certificates, applicants are also required to get a letter from their former schools indicating they faced difficulties in paying school fees.