RUNDU - The Namibia National Students Organisation (Nanso) leadership this week demanded a 50% tuition fees refund from the Zealous Tutorial Centre in Rundu, arguing the institution failed to honour its agreement with student leaders.
Last month, the centre informed students that they had to downgrade from higher level to ordinary level a day before students could write their first higher level examination paper.
According to the student leaders, the centre did not submit its tutorial form on time to the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture that is why the ministry did not allow the students to sit for higher level examination. This prompted students to petition the institution and request a 50% refund of their tuition fees. Belinda Andreas, one of the student leaders, claimed they engaged the management of the centre on the refund proposal last month, but the centre’s board refused to respond and implement their demands.
“We have a problem with Zealous Tutorial Centre, they requested us to pay for higher level subjects while they knew that the centre was not registered to offer such subjects on higher level. They scammed us and ate our money,” Andreas stressed.
Nanso regional chairperson in the Kavango East Ervin Likoro indicated the centre did not register with the line ministry to offer higher level subjects but took the risk to enrol students on higher level. According to him, the centre is only certified to offer ordinary level subjects.
“We demanded that the centre refunds 50% fees paid between February and September this year and on top of that, we will sit for these exams even though we have a month to revise for the content we are not prepared for. If we do not pass, the school should register us for free next year,” Likoro said.
He further said the institution should ensure that the students do not pay their tuition fees for the remaining months.
Over 120 students were expected to write English, History and Rukwangali on higher level. Shortly after the students handed in their petition, the two parties engaged on the demands and failed to reach a consensus.
The centre’s board chairperson, Matheus Mbangu, indicated that they could not commit to the students’ demands because they had to seek legal and financial advice.
Mbangu accused Nanso of not willing to meet with his management before the protest.
He further said that they will no longer engage Nanso and that they will not sign the memorandum of understanding. Mbangu, however, promised to study the memorandum of understanding and respond to the demands after he meets with the board members.
In addition, the chairperson said that students agreed to write their subjects on ordinary level after consulting their parents. He also claims that students agreed to enrol for higher level next year.
Augustinus Mukosho, another student leader at the centre encouraged parents and prospective students to conduct their research before enrolling to institutions to avoid such incidents unfolding in the future.