The Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) has defended its decision to only fund students who got admitted through mature entry at public institutions of higher learning while leaving out those pursuing studies at private universities. This follows a petition by the Students Union of Namibia (SUN) who demanded the removal of NSFAF acting CEO Kennedy Kandume whom they accused of changing the funding policy of mature age in favour of students at public institutions. “Since the appointment of the acting CEO, NSFAF has turned out from bad to worse with many students being denied an opportunity to access education. Under the leadership of Mr Kandume, NSFAF has changed the student funding policy to disadvantage student fundamental rights to education,” the petition read.
The petition further states that Kandume has stopped the funding of articulating students from those moving from diploma qualifications to bachelor’s degree because of “lame excuses of 25 points in five subjects in grade 12”. However, NSFAF spokesperson Olavi Hamwele denied allegations levelled against the acting CEO, saying they were devoid of any truth and credibility. He said NSFAF discharges its mandate within the parameter of the enabling Act and operational policies that may be amended as deemed necessary from time to time. “Though the purported petition makes allays of allegations, the author seems to be irked by the fact that NSFAF has resolved to recognise mature age entry pass results from public institutions only (Unam, NUST, and Namcol) as well as non-recognition of post grade 12 qualifications acquired through a process of circumventing grade 12 requirements,” Hamwele reacted. He said, it should be noted that NSFAF’s mandate is primarily to fund students who have passed grade 12 with 25 points in five subjects.
Hamwele continued that consideration, however, may be made for students with 22 points in grade 12 and who wish to pursue a diploma level of studies. Furthermore, he explained, mature age entry test results from public institutions may be considered for those who are 23 years or older and have practical working experience of minimum of three years with grade 12 and five years with grade 10. He noted the idea is to recognise prior learning and culminating such experience into a qualification. “Regrettably, when NSFAF realised that some institutions of higher learning were circumventing their mature age entry requirements, it resolved to recognise only results from public institutions of higher learning in order to maintain the intended purpose and standard. In light of the above, we wish to inform the public that such information and utterances, so being circulated and made by SUN, is devoid of any truth and thus should be treated with the contempt it deserves,” he said. NSFAF is tasked with the responsibility of providing financial assistance to Namibian students to access tertiary education at both home and abroad subject to them meeting the funding requirements.
2020-02-26 06:47:31 | 4 months ago