WINDHOEK – Namibian students who qualify to be financially funded by the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (Nsfaf) but who were rejected say they are under tremendous pressure to settle their tuition fees.
The students told Youth Corner that they are forced to pay for their own studies despite applying for the government loan.
Youth Corner met some students who took part in the demonstration against government rejecting 12 000 students last week at the Nsfaf head officeand at the Ministry of Higher Education, Training and Innovation.
It was recently reported that out of the 15 087 students who met the minimum requirements for funding, only 2 925 will be funded by Nsfaf thus resulting in the peaceful demonstration. Inna Hengari, a masters student who was also part of the protesters said she took part in the demonstration in support of the affected students as she felt their pain.
“Nsfaf is denying students their rights to education. Those 12 000 students applied for the government loan because they cannot afford to fund their studies. This basically means that they are chasing the youth onto the streets because at the end of the day they will end up dropping out of school and this is their future,” the emotional Hengari added while chanting ‘free education’.
Jennifer Nambele, a first-year student at the University of Namibia is also one of the affected students. Nambele said that she has to pay over N$50 000 for her studies this year and because her parents are struggling to get that amount, she does not know what to do.
“I am pleading for the government to look into this matter before it’s too late. We might not be able to write exams because are our studies are not paid and just imagine how we are going to survive on the streets,” she remarked, adding that she is on the verge of giving up on her studies because she is not sure if her parents can afford to pay for her tuition.
“This whole situation has affected me negatively because I am forced to pay for my own studies despite being unemployed. The government must learn to prioritise. If they can afford to renovate a house for over N$70 million, they can also afford to fund our studies. I personally feel neglected by the government as a Namibian youth,” Jackson Amutenya, a first-year economics student complained.
Youth Corner observed at the protest that hundreds of students were left with no hope for funding their tertiary education.
The Minister of Higher Education, Training and Innovation, Dr Itah Kandjii-Murangi, told students at the demonstration that their complaints were heard and they will further investigate the matter. The students, however, felt the minister’s response was insufficient.
New Era Reporter
2019-06-06 09:34:56 10 days ago