Following a deal brokered between the Namibia National Students Union (NANSO) and the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) that will see tuition and non tuition fees being paid for students from 2017 to 2018, the Landless People’s Movement’s Student Command element has come out to trash it as worthless.
The newly birthed student wing has been irked by what they say is a reduction of non-tuition fees to N$3 000 and ridiculed NANSO for striking such a deal which failed students.
“They have taken a decision that they are going to reduce the amount without even talking to the students before doing that. N$24 000 is not enough. You have students who have a degree in medicine, they probably get N$30 000 to N$40 000 in tuition fees. You give me N$24 000 to pay N$11 000 of hostel and then you try to cover up with N$3 000 just to rub our backs for what?”
NSFAF beneficiary and Landless People’s Movement’s spokesperson, Utaara Uti Moota said they were looking for funds not to buy fancy smart phones but for their future and slammed NANSO for “selling us out”.
She also said a maximum of N$4 000 was enough for some students’ text books which made the N$3 000 worthless.
“We signed a contract with NSFAF for them to give us N$22 000 of non-tuition fee which they have failed to pay us and they are giving us N$3 000. Mind you, have you seen the rent prices? That is not even enough for a month of rent for a single bedroom in Katutura!” said Moota.
Secretary General for NANSO, Simon Taapopi has however said Moota is not basing her argument on facts saying there was no decrease from the non-tuition fees.
“The N$3 000 negotiated with the fund was from the remaining N$14 000 of non-tuition fees from the N$21 000, the rest has already been paid. Basically, we agreed to that particular deal because if the fund had to pay the full amount outstanding to all students, we would be in a situation where by the fund could not take in any or a small amount of beneficiaries for this financial year,” he said.
Moota has also said NSFAF should have come up with stringent requirements for students who apply to go study abroad so that more can stay in the country.
“If everyone is leaving who is going to build the country?” she queried.
She has also proposed that more investments be placed in small institutions like Lingua and Monitronics while she slammed NSFAF for restricting funding only to students from the country’s three major universities, University of Namibia, International University of Management and Namibia University of Science and Technology.
Taapopi bashed back at this as untrue, saying the fund was catering for students going to smaller institutions than these.
Meanwhile the deal both NANSO and NSFAF which also included student representative from various institutions came in time to avoid a student demonstration which had been mooted for the 4th of July in response to the rejection of 6 000 students and failure of 2017’s tuition and non-tuition fees.