Poly students hijack official opening

05 Feb 2014 15:00

Polytechnic of Namibia (PoN) students disrupted the official opening of the semester earlier today, demanding that the opening be called off so they can be allowed to register.

The responsible students are the ones who have been unable to register, because their accounts had been blocked, following the Namibian Student Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF)'s cry over their (students') failure.

Samuel Ndungula , who is a third-year Applied Mathematics and Statistics student, failed a subject in his first year and is thus not allowed to register for the rest of his subjects.

“Once you fail a subject, it disrupts the whole process, which means you will not be able to do the rest of the subjects. However, that does not mean one has failed academically, because they have excelled in the rest of their subjects. They have been telling us to come back day after day but now they are telling us to fork out N$3000 for daily registration, before the registration process ends. It is difficult but we are not here with problems only, we also came with solutions. To determine whether NSFAF will pay or not, can be discussed later. For now, let us register,” Ndungula told an audience that included the Minster of Education, Dr David Namwandi, PoN rector, Tjama Tjivikua and NSFAF CEO, Hilya Nghiwete.

The protesting students held placards. Some read, ‘Minister of Education, Please Help Us’ while others read, ‘We Want To Register’ and ‘No Register No Voting for 2014 Elections’, and had the late Education Minister’s name, Dr Abraham Iyambo signed on the placards.

Namwandi who was also at the official opening had to ditch his duties and summon Tjivikua and Nghiwete to a meeting. Namwandi told the students he would attend to their problems before leaving.

“You, my sons and daughters, will not be left to suffer. I didn’t know about this. I am not going to the office but to the meeting with all the people involved in this situation,” he said as the students applauded him.

As we speak, the minister, Tjivikua and the NSFAF boss are in the impromptu meeting at PoN.