PDM condemns NSFAF on ‘no fee guarantees’ for students

14 Jan 2018 14:30pm
WINDHOEK, 14 JAN (NAMPA) – The Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) has strongly condemned the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF)’s call for students to register in the absence of any guarantee of funding for their tertiary education studies this year.
The PDM made the condemnation in a media statement availed to Nampa on Sunday with the leadership of the official opposition party reacting to a recent newspaper article purporting that there was no guarantee of funding for students’ tertiary education during the course of the 2018 academic year.
“It is incomprehensible and entirely irrational that the NSFAF would even remotely consider it feasible for a university to register students in the absence of any guarantee of funding for tertiary education studies,” said the PDM.
It stressed, the fact that it would be economically ruinous for any university, local or foreign, to admit, much less register, students who have no proof that they have the means to pay for their studies, exemplifies how the fund’s leadership undermines the intellect of the Namibian nation.
The party further attributed the decision by the NSFAF to the unavailability of funds to grant these loans and ultimately pay tertiary education institutions.
The party alleges that the “mismanagement and financial chaos” that characterises the NSFAF is public knowledge and that the institution is simply looking to transfer responsibility for the crisis that will erupt when it informs applicants that they do not qualify for funding, which the PDM fully expects to happen in the next few weeks across the country.
The PDM said it believes that the mismanagement and incompetence of the NSFAF management is not only jeopardising the future of young Namibians by effectively restricting access to higher education through its failure to guarantee funding, but also the financial viability of local tertiary institutions.
“The PDM finds this abhorrent and highly irresponsible, and considering the magnitude of this looming disaster, the party again calls for immediate intervention from the highest levels of leadership not only in the concerned ministry, but in the entire country,” said the PDM, adding that the NSFAF management has again proven itself wholly incompetent to discharge the fiduciary duty entrusted to it.
Furthermore, the PDM called for urgent amendment to the relevant legislation to allow for the disbandment of the NSFAF, the summary dismissal of its leadership, and the establishment of departments within local public universities to administer public loans and grants for tertiary study.