Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Chinese Ambassador to Uganda, H.E Zheng Zhuqiang has awarded tuition scholarships to 30 students at Makerere university for this academic year.
Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, the Makerere University Vice Chancellor on Thursday hailed the people of the Republic of China for their generosity towards Makerere University and for supporting needy students access higher education.
Professor Nawangwe discloses that more than 1000 students at Makerere drop out of their courses due to their failure to raise the required tuition fees. He encouraged the beneficiaries to work hard and avoid engaging in acts of hooliganism.
Prof. Nawangwe disclosed that government through the National Council for Higher Education – NCHE had finally approved its bachelor of Chinese and Asian Studies which they are now advertising.
Nawangwe says that it is to the advantage of Uganda as a country to have many people trained to speak and interact with Chinese people.
The scholarships were awarded under the University’s Gender Mainstreaming Directorate Scholarship Committee to students offering various programmes in the Colleges at Makerere University starting with the academic year 2018/2019.
There are two categories of scholarships. 15 Scholarships were awarded under the Chinese Ambassador’s Scholarship for Excellence, while another (15) were awarded under the Chinese Ambassador’s Scholarship for Friendship.
In 2018, the Chinese Embassy offered scholarships worth 85 million Shillings to Makerere University for bright and disadvantaged students to continue their studies in the 2nd year and this was renewable the against availability of funds.
In February 2019, the Chinese Embassy offered another 105 million Shillings to support these students for their 3rd year of study.
In 2018, when the Scholarship was introduced, the Scholars had to be already students of Makerere University in their second semester of the first year in 2017/2018 academic year with a minimum GPA of 2.80 based on year one, semester one results.
The students are from a socio-economic disadvantaged background, not admitted on Uganda Government Scholarship to any public university and not on any other scholarship such as tuition waiver, District Scholarship, among others.
Rachelle Ikol, one of the scholarship recipients said; “I would like to thank the Chinese Embassy and the Chinese people for giving me the opportunity to stay in school and for giving me a future I would not have got.”
Samuel Begumisa, another student recipient disclosed that; “I would like to thank the Chinese government for the great support towards my education, my fellow students and for not only helping Uganda in education but also in boosting the infrastructural developments such as roads, dams and many more.”
H.E Zheng Zhuqiang in response assured the beneficiaries that the people of China are committed to continuing to support Uganda’s education sector.
“I would like to assure you that the embassy and China at large will continue to provide support within its capacity to Uganda’s education cause including those to the Makerere university. Together we could build the future, a better future for Uganda and the future shared by a closer community between china and Uganda,” said Ambassador Zheng.
According to Zheng, people to people exchange is an important component of the China-Uganda comprehensive partnership.
He further discloses that working with the ministry of Education and Sports, the Chinese government has awarded 111 Ugandan students with scholarships to support them to study in China from this month.
URN understands that through the cooperation between the ministry of education and sports and the Confucius Institute at Makerere University, a plan of training 100 teachers to teach Chinese language in Uganda is taking shape. Currently, out of the over 6000 secondary schools, students in 30 secondary schools are learning the Chinese language.
Speaking at the Scholarship Award Ceremony on Thursday at the Makerere University Main Building, Aggrey David Kibenge, the Ministry of Education and Sports Undersecretary, said the support by the Chinese government further emphasizes the important role for strengthened education and training systems.
He observed that developing human capital is regarded as critical both as a means to provide Uganda’s emerging higher value added private sector with human capital that it needs to nurture growth and productivity.
Kibenge who was representing the minister of Education and sports said the Chinese government has not only supported Makerere but government through the ministry to sponsor students in critical areas of civil and structural engineering, computer forensics and bio engineering technology, petroleum, mathematics, medical lab technology among others.
“It is our hope that China and Uganda will continue to cooperate further and consolidate our already blossoming friendship for the mutual benefit of our two sister countries ad people. Towards this same end, I hope that the beneficiaries of these scholarships will take their studies seriously and return to champion the socio-economic transformation of our country,” Kibenge observed.