• October 22nd, 2019

NSFAF funding deficit receives attention



Albertina Nakale

WINDHOEK- The Ministry of Higher Education, Training and Innovation has announced that the high-level technical committee, constituted for the purpose of identifying additional sources to fund Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) beneficiaries, has successfully completed its assignment. 
This was revealed the by ministry’s spokesperson Selma Ngola who expressed the ministry’s gratitude to the technical committee for a comprehensive report that shows great efforts that went into the exercise to explore possible additional sources of funding to mitigate the NSFAF funding deficit to address the NSFAF budget shortfall. With the current budget allocation of N$1.138 billion, NSFAF is only able to fund study loans of 2 925 new applicants, out of 24 739 applications received.
Although 9 650 of the received applications did not meet the funding requirements, 15 087 applicants did qualify for assistance.


Continuing students are to be funded to the tune of N$1.076 billion, the fund said.
NSFAF says the budget allocated to it falls short of N$641 million. 
Due to this shortfall, which saw thousands of university students not receiving government financial assistance, many of the needy students were unable to register for the second semester.
Equally, this irked a large group of tertiary students who recently staged a peaceful demonstration where they petitioned the NSFAF management as well as the Minister of Higher Education demanding that all qualified and eligible students be funded regardless of where they are studying.
Further, Ngola revealed that the Ministry of Higher Education, Training and Innovation with institutions of higher learning reached an understanding to allow all eligible NSFAF students to register for the second semester at their respective institutions. 
According to Ngola, the ministry requested NSFAF to publicise the names of all eligible students through their respective higher learning institutions in order to facilitate registrations of such students.
She remarked that the Ministry of Higher Education, Training and Innovation is committed to ensuring quality higher education is delivered to the Namibian nation, through the advancement of quality programmes and credible projects.
“We would like to extend our appreciation to the students and their leadership for their understanding and commitment to supporting the government through this period. We wish the students all the best and success with their studies,” she said. 
The higher ministry Executive Director, Alfred Van Kent, said the ministry is aware of the fact that NSFAF funded students have to sit for examinations as well as to register for the second semester. 

“It is within this context that the ministry is regarding the lack of funds to eligible students as a strategic issue,” he said.
According to him, since April this year, when the ministry received the guideline amount, several meetings have taken place with the relevant stakeholders to address the critical issue of student funding. 

Pic:  NSFAF funding
Caption: 
 


Albertina Nakale
2019-07-19 09:17:05 | 3 months ago

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