Funds secured for 'abandoned' students: NANSO

13 Jun 2019 08:20am
WINDHOEK, 13 JUN (NAMPA) - The Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) has secured two thirds of the money needed to fund university for the ‘abandoned’ 12624 students, the Namibian National Students' Organisation (NANSO) announced on Wednesday.
Early last month, the NSFAF announced that it will only award financial assistance to 2 925 out of the overall 15 087 successful new applicants during the 2019 academic year due to a shortfall of N.dollars 641 million in its budget for the financial year 2019/20.
A media statement issued by NANSO Secretary General, Simon Taapopi, on Wednesday, said through multiple consultations, the Namibian government committed to explore all possible avenues to see that the students’ financial bill is settled.
On Monday, NANSO leadership met with the Prime Minister, Minister and officials from the Higher Education, Training and Innovation as well as Finance, along with representatives from NSFAF and the Swapo Party Youth League.
As an alternative, the Higher Education Ministry will explore the possibility of charging an educational levy to employers of graduates as an equitable long-term funding solution as well as establish a regulatory body to ensure that higher education institution fees are not commoditized.
The Ministry will also review and re-evaluate its award and debt recovery policy to ensure its inclusive and equitable funding formula.
“NSFAF current policies bear little sustainability and financial prudence, and therefore runs the risk of excluding beneficiaries in the future,” Taapopi said.
The Ministry of Finance assured it would expedite the payments of continuing students to prevent another low cash flow hiccup.
Taapopi further explained that these solutions come as a result of a high level submission made by the National Executive Committee and the tenacity demonstrated in meetings and negotiations with government.
NANSO also called on higher education institutions to allow students to access their results for their first semester and to let them register for the second semester as well.
The students’ organisation further encouraged students to remain confident in its leadership to ensure that no Namibian child is left out.