The Ministry of Education and Sports has released updated guidelines for students on various scholarships pursuing education abroad, emphasizing the necessity of submitting regular progress reports. Dr. Jane Egau, the undersecretary at the ministry, revealed that failure to provide academic progress updates could result in the suspension of stipends. The announcement was made during the send-off ceremony for a group of students heading to Algeria at Makerere University.
Dr. Egau highlighted concerns about students who have previously lagged in their studies, failed to make progress, or disappeared after arriving in their designated countries while still receiving taxpayers’ money. In the revamped arrangement, students are required to submit progress reports, which will be cross-referenced with their respective universities.
The guidelines apply to students studying in various countries, including India, Cuba, Hungary, and Egypt, in addition to Algeria. The Algerian scholarship program, offering 100 slots to Ugandan nationals, was temporarily suspended in 2019 due to COVID-19 and related factors but resumed this year.
Out of the allocated slots, only 39 students have been confirmed by their universities, with five opting not to go for reasons such as enrolling in local programs, illness, and untraceability.
Muzamil Mukwatampola, the Commissioner in Charge of Admissions and Student Affairs, assured that the remaining slots, up to 61 students, will be confirmed, and successful awardees will be notified. However, there is a change in the disbursement of monthly stipends, with students now expected to wait for some time after arrival before receiving funds.
Mukwatampola stressed the importance of parental support during the period when stipends are not yet available. Parents were urged to assist their children with any needs that may arise, ensuring a smooth transition and sustained focus on their studies.
Addressing past issues, where students in Algeria experienced delays in stipend disbursement, the Commissioner acknowledged the government’s commitment to addressing such challenges. The pre-departure briefing for awardees included guidance on expectations upon arrival, adapting to a new culture, insights on weather conditions, and other pertinent information. The session aimed to equip students with the knowledge and tools for a successful academic journey in Algeria, facilitated by officials from the Ministry and a former student who had completed the same program.