Parliament Endorses Increase in Students Meal Allowances
Parliament has recommended an increment in the daily stipend allocated to government sponsored students in public Universities. The money will be increased from the current 4000-4,500 Shillings allocated to every student to at least 10,000 Shillings per student, per day.
The recommendation is contained in the report of the budget committee on the National Budget Framework Paper for the financial year 2019/2020 presented before Parliament today, by the committee chairperson Amos Lugoloobi.
According to the committee report, the 4,500 shillings is inadequate considering the high cost of living across the country. The allocation caters for breakfast, lunch and supper. However, the cheapest meal around Makerere University's designated food joints goes for 5000 Shillings.
"The committee recommends that public Universities to be given additional funding to ensure that each student receives at least 10,000 for meals, a day, " the committee recommends.
The recommendation comes a few days after an appeal by Kyambogo University, seeking to increase funding for student meals from 4,000 to 10,000 Shillings a day. Kyambogo University Secretary Charles Okello told the committee earlier that the allocation of 4,000 Shillings is not enough to facilitate decent meals for government sponsored students.
He said the University was struggling to feed the 2,800 government sponsored students, especially after resolving to outsource catering services as per the university council policy passed the year before.
Okello says that although the university could not continue bearing the burden of preparing meals for students, the new policy is bound to fail if the allocation is not adjusted. He says that the outsourced services are to ensure that meals are provided to all students, as opposed to feeding only those on government sponsorship.
The approved report will still go to Government which will scrutinize it and bring it back for final approval by end of March, 2019.
German Amanya, the outgoing Guild President of Kyambogo University says 10,000 Shillings per student is a better deal.