WINDHOEK - The Namibia National Students Organisation (Nanso) has expressed disappointment towards the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (Nsfaf) for allegedly delaying payments of non-tuition of N$21 600 to continuing students.
The same issue has also been raised by the newly established Student Union of Namibia (Sun).
Nsfaf announced in May that they could only fund 2 925 first-year students from a group of more than 15 000 who had qualified for funding.
Nsfaf argued that it had incurred a shortfall of N$641 million.
This effectively meant that the fund was only in a position to assist old students as well as 2 925 new students, leaving close to 12 000 stranded.
Last month, higher education minister Itah Kandjii-Murangi, however, said more than N$400 million was raised to help fund the stranded students.
The minister added that of that amount, N$182 million will come from government, while N$238 million would be sourced from financial institutions.
Kandjii-Murangi also confirmed that continuing Nsfaf students, prior to 2018, will receive N$21 600 as a non-tuition fee, while the new intakes will get N$17 000.
Nanso secretary-general Simon Taapopi yesterday said following consultation with students from all tertiary institutions, they have it on good authority that Nsfaf has until now failed to pay out students’s non-tuition funds.
He said the funds are generally used for transport, meals, stationery, accommodation and for necessary incidentals.
“This is a matter we consider a grave concern, as the long over-due absence of these funds for poor students affects negatively on the academic performance and the general progress of students and trainees,” Taapopi noted.
Sun secretary-general Benhard Kavau said they have taken note of Nsfaf communication regarding the payment of tuition and non-tuition fees to students. “However after robust consultation with our student representative councils, our position is that Nsfaf should release full non-tuition fees of N$21 600 to every student this month,” Kavau said.
Kavau also said students are not happy with the draft policy used by Nsfaf for funding considerations.
He claimed the policy is illegal, discriminatory and unjust.
Further, he said during 2015, President Hage Geingob promised students publicly that all Nsfaf loans are going to be transformed into grants, as a road towards free tertiary education.
“However, we are still to witness that happening, as student leaders, we want to challenge His Excellency to this promise. When will the President turn all loans to grants? Because we are tired of promises,” he reacted.
Attempts to reach Nsfaf proved futile yesterday.
2019-10-24 07:25:12 | 21 days ago