By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK The launching of the Unam-SRC Student Financial Assistance Scheme attests to the fact that the youth of this country are determined to undo the negative impact of the many years of educational deprivation. This was the message by the Founding Father of the Nation, Dr Sam Nujoma, when he last week officially launched the scheme at a well-known hotel in the capital. The scheme raised N$45 100 in donations and pledges last Wednesday, described as a great achievement by the outgoing SRC president Kadiva Hghipondoka. “Over the years I have emphasized the need for us as citizens to individually and collectively find solutions for the lack of skills – ignorance, underdevelopment and sub-standard living conditions. We can emerge from these bleak circumstances by tightening our belts and working hard to pursue our vision and dreams as a people and a nation,” said Nujoma at the occasion. Telecom Namibia contributed a cash amount of N$20 000 towards the student fund, aimed at assisting needy ones. “Education is the engine for development. Making it accessible to the Namibian youth is a definite route towards national development. It is a known fact that in the contemporary socio-economic context the higher the level of education the better are the chances for self-advancement. “This assistance scheme in itself is a clear recognition of the value of education, as well as the need for all students we put through university education,” said the Chancellor of Unam Nujoma, who described the fund as a youth solida-rity for self-empowerment project. “This scheme targets the truly deserving and needy students. It is a ‘top-up’ system that will cater for those students running financially short to pay for the financial obligations such as examination fees. The overriding aim of the scheme is to curb attrition and dropout rates, reduce the number of students overstaying at Unam and increase the number of those who graduate on time,” Nujoma enthused. He also urged all Namibians to support the scheme. “The scheme is indeed a seed planted by a few, but whose harvest will benefit many from all thirteen regions of the country and even SADC students studying at Unam. I am very proud to be associated with the birth of this scheme that rekindles the spirit and sense of interdependence in a world dominated by individualistic proclivities. We are all challenged to explore ways of ensuring there is oil in the lamp of this scheme for the flame to reach more students,” said Nujoma. At the same occasion Prime Minister Nahas Angula, contributing N$5000 towards the fund, encouraged Unam alumni to make further financial contributions towards the fund. “I am sure former students will be willing to make at least 1% of their salary available to the fund, if they are approached and requested to do so,” the Prime Minster said encouragingly. The fund will be administered by the office of the Dean of Students at Unam.
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