Selma Ikela Windhoek-The Namibia National Student Organisation (Nanso) said it would rally students at various tertiary institutions for a protest demonstration that would shut down the Namibia Student Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) offices in Windhoek on Wednesday. The planned demonstration comes in response to the apparent non-payment of student refunds: which are non-tuition fees intended to cover ancillary costs. Nanso is demanding that money owed to students be transferred to the student’ accounts by Wednesday at the latest. At a media briefing yesterday, Nanso Khomas region chairperson Kanepolo Amunime said a majority of students awarded loans by NSFAF had not yet received their non-tuition fees. This is money intended to cater for students’ accommodation, transport, books and other basic needs throughout the year. “But the Fund has failed to deliver on making these payments to the students and continue to do so. We are very frustrated and saddened by this, because the final exams have commenced and the year is almost coming to end. It has actually been 10 months without these fees,” said Amunime, adding that the fees should be paid during the first quarter, as the money is intended to help the students throughout the year and it is not right that it is paid only at the end of the year. Amunine also said Nanso wants NSFAF to respond to applicants by May each year, informing them whether their application for a study loan has been approved or rejected, as this would allow students to seek for assistance elsewhere. Amunime said Nanso had received complaints about the manner in which the disbursement of award letters for students seeking funding was done, as well as the payment of existing loan holders’ tuition and non-tuition fees. He said Nanso organised a student leaders forum in September at the International University of Management, which resolved that all student leaders from all institutions approach NSFAF as a collective to address the issue of approval of loans and the payment issue. The NSFAF had reportedly issued a statement saying they will finalise outstanding payments by September 30. But the NSFAF failed to implement their pledge yet again, which prompted Nanso and various student leaders from all institution of high learning to meet last week with the minister of higher education, training and innovation, the CEO of NSFAF and board deputy chairman, Amunime maintained. In support of Amunime’s statement, IUM student representative council (SRC) president Violla Hamunyela said only fourth-year students received their refunds, while third-, second- and first-year students were left in the dark. Nanso said SRCs from the University of Namibia, the Namibia University of Science and Technology, IUM, Triumphant College, the Institute of Bankers, College of the Arts, Windhoek Vocational Training Centre and the National Training Health Centre were expected to gather at NSFAF as early as 05h00 tomorrow. NSFAF did not respond yesterday to questions sent to them.
2017-10-17 09:53:10 11 months ago