- Published on Monday, 14 May 2012 14:06
- Written by Nkwasibwe Geofrey
- Category: Education News - Local
- Hits: 859
When the government finally comes around to start an official fund for students who would wish to complete their education with a little help, the field of such magnanimity will not be completely bare. Often seen as a venture whose trade-off might not easily be realized, there are organisations that are already leagues ahead in as far as sponsorship of children goes in the country.
In October last year, Nile Breweries announced that they would sponsor the orphaned children of victims of the July 11 Kampala bomb blasts. The company partnered with St Mary’s College Lugazi I a scholarship package worth Shs500, 000, accounting for half the cost of educating the 45 children. Both the school fees and all other academic costs for the orphans were met by Nile Breweries.
But the company was not done; already, there was a scholarship scheme targeting needy students called the Equality Scholarship. Today, there are 21 students on the programme, which is in its second year this year.
“What we have done is to remove the financial barrier between these academic geniuses but financial dwarfs and their counterparts from rich families,” Onapito-Ekomoloit, the corporate affairs director, Nile Breweries Limited says.
For this scholarship programme, the company partnered with academic giants St. Mary’s College Kisubi, Kings College Budo, St. Mary’s Secondary School Kitende, Gayaza High School, Nabisunsa Girls School, Ntare School, Namirembe Hillside, Namilyango College, Uganda Martyrs Secondary School Namugongo, and Seeta High School.
The fruits of the sponsorship are yet to be realized in their fullness but Nile Breweries is confident that what they have started will go a long way in transforming the lives of the cohort that they are working with. “We see the effect it has on the schools from where these students come. Many come from deep in the rural areas and when they come to big schools on the national scene, they inspire others to also work hard to win it,” Mr Ronald Mayanja, the company’s communications manager.
Farther afield, there are more companies involved in the effort to bring better education chances to students who cannot do it on their own. The Muljibhai Madhvani foundation, a charitable education trust that was set up in 1962, has been sponsoring students for years.
The Foundation is known to have donated billions of shillings to thousands of underprivileged students over the years. This year, the Foundation set up Shs550million for beneficiaries of the programme, a first for the organization in terms of the sheer amounts involved.
It was formed to cater for the science and technology needs of Uganda’s future. The scholarship programme is aimed at benefiting Ugandans pursuing either undergraduate or postgraduate studies at university level and has been in operation since the 2003/04 academic year. It came into a situation where less than 20 per cent of S4 students in Uganda advance to A-Level.
Getting to university is the ultimate dream for thousands of people in school and in the case of the lucky few who have been aided, the need to share that dream should be even more vivid.
With the excitement over the nascent oil industry increasing by the day, it was perhaps natural that Tullow Oil would jump into the fray. Recently, the company offered at least 20 scholarships.
There are others involved in the improvement of education standards. Monitor Publications has been sponsoring students for the last three years on the Monitor Excellence and Mentorship Awards. This, however, differs from many in that it is based purely on academic merit.
Pupils who are identified as the best in their regions at the release of the Primary Leaving Examination results are automatically entered into the programme, which then runs for the whole of their O-Level education.
With 60 per cent of young people being of school-going age, it becomes apparent that the government’s hand in extending quality education will be sourly needed. Though the private sector needs to also ramp up its involvement, the numbers of those who need the service keep on rising.
Source: The Daily Monitor