Nile Breweries Limited (NBL) has announced that they will temporarily suspend their Equality Scholarship programmes until it has been reviewed by the new NBL owners.
This was revealed this week by Onapito Ekomoloit, the legal and corporate affairs director at Nile Breweries, as he read out the performance of the 2017 Equality Scholarship candidates at the company’s head office in Luzira, Kampala. NBL was a subsidiary of SABMiller but was acquired by AB InBev two years ago and the new owners seem to have come with a different strategy.
Ekomoloit said that the suspension will not affect the already-continuing students in the scheme. Equality Scholarships were launched in 2011 and the pioneers of the scholarship are now at the university.
“Some time back, NBL got new owners and they are trying to review all company processes and the scheme is among them, as you can see, this year we did not enroll any student, but those in the scheme, will continue as we wait for the way forward,” Ekomoloit said.
Under the scholarship, the company sponsors bright pupils from rural primary schools to study in Uganda’s prestigious secondary schools. The students are selected from schools in communities that grow sorghum and barley, which Nile Breweries uses to make beer.
The programme has 71 beneficiaries from the districts of Budaka, Bukedea, Buikwe, Bundibugyo, Dokolo, Hoima, Isingiro, Kabarole, Kamuli, Kanungu, Katakwi, Kiryandongo, Kisoro, Kitgum, Kween, Lira, Mubende, Nebbi, Ngora, Ntungamo, Oyam, Soroti and Zombo.
The beneficiaries are independently selected using a Uneb computerized system, on the strength of being the best in their districts (excluding schools in large towns). Nile Breweries meets the full cost of their entire secondary education.
The scholarship covers school fees, all scholastic requirements, bedding, clothing and pocket money for the beneficiaries. In addition, students who have been admitted to different universities in Uganda, each receives Shs 1.5 million for their first semester costs, as private students.
“Our plan is to is to take these students to best schools to enable them qualify for government sponsorship, but we will give Shs 1.5 million to those who go on private sponsorship,” he said.
According to Ekomoloit, students who sat for the O-and A-level examinations performed well.
“Central to this scholarship is academic excellence. All our beneficiaries performed well and we continue to support them,” said Ekomoloit.