02 Jul 2018 16:50pm
WINDHOEK, 02 JUL (NAMPA) The Popular Democratic Movement Youth League (PDMYL) has rejected the agreement between the Namibian Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) and the Namibia National Students Organisation (Nanso) to pay each NSFAF beneficiary a once-off N. dollars 3 000.
The N.dollars 3 000 pay-out is the full and final settlement for any outstanding non-tuition fees for 2017, the two parties agreed at a meeting here last week, with all payments expected to be made by the end of July.
The youth league said agreement is to the detriment of the students and chastised Nanso for entering into the agreement.
Speaking at a media conference in the capital on Monday, PDMYL secretary general Benson Katjirijova described the agreement as illegal.
PDMYL is of the opinion that all the resolutions taken at that particular meeting leave students at a very disadvantaged position and are illegal at worst, he charged.
The youth leader premised his argument on the grounds that each NSFAF beneficiary entered into an explicit and exclusive contract with the student funding entity.
This latest deal signed by NSFAF and Nanso by no means honours the contractual obligations that NSFAF should play, he said.
Katjirijova demanded that NSFAFs engagement on students become more inclusive and vowed to write to the institution, detailing PDMYLs complaints.
He said with the current allocation of N.dollars 3 000, beneficiaries at the University of Namibia will be forced to fork out anything between N.dollars 3 000 and N.dollars 9 000 to top up their hostel fees. He added that in some cases, students who are not studying medicine, engineering or veterinary sciences will have to top up accommodation fees with between N.dollars 6 000 and N.dollars 9 000.
The parties further agreed to set up a joint committee to engage the government, especially the higher education ministry, to ensure the timely release of funds, local reports suggested.
For 2018, NSFAF promised to pay N.dollars 17 000 in non-tuition fees for both new and continuing beneficiaries, which is applicable to boarding and non-boarding students.
In 2017, NSFAF agreed to pay a maximum of N.dollars 24 000 in tuition and non-tuition fees per beneficiary in all fields of study at the three major higher learning institutions.
An exception, however is made for fields of study where students pay more than N.dollars 24 000.
According to recent media reports, NSFAF is unable to honour its financial obligations in terms of non-tuition fees due to the precarious economic climate in Namibia.
The fund has already gone beyond its approved budget ceiling.