Albertina Nakale WINDHOEK – Students have threatened to shut down the higher education ministry and turn it into a student village today (Monday), over the outstanding tuition fees that the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) promised last month it would pay. “Since we all would like to go to school and acquire academic excellence but there is obstacle in our way, we are therefore providing a clear direction which we are going to take as students. We are calling on all homeless militant students to meet us on Monday [today], at the ministry of higher education. All students should come with their pots and blankets as we will be welcomed into our new accommodation by the ministry,” threatened Namibian National Student Organisation (Nanso) vice-president Bernard Kavau. Nanso and NSFAF reached an agreement last month, signed by Kavau and NSFAF acting chief executive Kennedy Kandume, to pay the outstanding accounts. For non-tuition fees for the 2018 academic year, NSFAF agreed to pay a flat fee of N$17,000 per student for both continuing students and new intakes. This is applicable to both boarding and non-boarding students. Such fees were payable on or before 31 July, which lapsed last week Tuesday. Since the payable set date lapsed, Nanso Khomas leadership is now demanding action from the higher education ministry. “NSFAF promised to make payments on or before the 31st July but their lofty promise and ambitions did not materialize. This will force students to shut down the ministry of higher education on Monday and force the Minister [Dr Itah Kandjii-Murangi] to resign if she doesn’t have the students’ interest at heart,” Nanso Khomas regional secretary Epaphras Sheya Ngolo said. Kavau said they took note of the fact that after the NSFAF-Nanso memorandum of understanding was agreed, the fund ended up misinforming students that the 80 percent hostel fee coverage is abolished, which the students feel they can’t believe as it was not officially announced. He said their position of the hostel issue remains the same that NSFAF should pay 80 percent of the hostel fee and students should top up the remaining 20 percent with the N$17,000 of non-tuition fee. Nanso blames the higher education ministry for their woes. “We are not interested in fighting NSFAF anymore, we are going for the ministry of higher education. The minister should do the honourable thing and come to our rescue. We can no longer fight institutions of higher learning, we can no longer tolerate the issue of our students being threatened to be thrown out of their accommodation as a result of the ministry. We can no longer tolerate the issue of students not attending classes as a result of no transport to school, we can no longer accept academic failures as a result of no study materials,” Kavau said.
New Era Reporter
2018-08-06 09:27:05 6 months ago