ONGWEDIVA – The University of Namibia’s student leadership has given the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) an ultimatum to avail student funds by the end of August.
The students have threatened to take action if their demands are not met.
Unam’s Vice President at the Oshakati campus Stephanus Nguluwe said the status quo of paying out non-tuition fees in December is not in favour of the students.
Nguluwe said the online classes during this Covid-19 state of emergency are particularly a challenge because many students cannot afford it. He further stated NSFAF only pays out a meagre portion of the non-tuition fees and the student representative is of the opinion that releasing such funds now will ease the financial burden to acquire the necessities to ensure effective e-learning.
“We are in August and this institution didn’t even cover 50% of the students’ tuition fees or non-tuition fees; students are currently suffering without any financial support, and this is the right time for this funding institution to pay out student’s non-tuition fees,” Nguluwe told journalists last week Friday. He said the non-payment is particularly affecting the first-year students most of whom have not received a penny from NSFAF.
“Most of these students are from financially unstable backgrounds and do not own personal computers; hence, it is difficult for them to type their assignments. Such students pay for typing at freelancers or printing shops. Some students share resources and, as a result, are risking their lives walking at night for assistance from other students,” said Nguluwe.
Furthermore, Nguluwe said the student leadership has also received reports from healthcare students. The healthcare students from the Oshakati campus are requested to acquire their personal protective equipment (PPE).
He emphasised that if funds were available, students will be in a position to acquire face masks and immune boosters to protect themselves.