According to the state minister for finance in charge of general duties Gabriel Gadison Ajedra, the finance ministry has given sh450b to UDB to lend to businesses at a lower interest rate of 12%.
Education institutions should utilise government funds sent to Uganda Development Bank (UDB) as a stimulus package to resolve their financial challenges, the state minister for finance in charge of general duties, Gabriel Gadison Ajedra, has advised.
Meeting a section of university vice-chancellors and guild leaders, Ajedra informed the team that although the issue of the stimulus package is still being discussed in Cabinet, it would be easier for the institutions to borrow money from UDB to finance their requirements.
According to Ajedra, the finance ministry has given sh450b to UDB to lend to businesses at a lower interest rate of 12%.
"The finance ministry is currently engaging Cabinet to see whether we can provide a stimulus package, particularly for infrastructure development. Institutions have to access these funds through UDB because it is much quicker. Once Cabinet has completed the discussion, we will communicate.
The universities and other educational institutions should look at this possibility and access these funds. Use the funds as Cabinet discusses the stimulus package," he said. In addition, he said the Government has offered a number of tax relief to lessen the institutions' financial burdens.
Students' demands Ajedra was responding to the students' demand that the Government should provide a stimulus package to all academic institutions to enable them to get back on their feet.
"The universities are asking students to pay 100% of the fees. We believe that if the government supports the institutions financially, they will also relax on the measures," Uganda Christian University guild president Timothy Kadaga said.
The students also asked the universities to suspend online learning, saying it was discriminatory in nature and inefficient.
The students said the majority of the students lack laptops and that e-learning requires the internet, which is costly for some students. They also argued that students doing practical courses, such as medical students, cannot rely on online learning since their training is mainly interactive.