By Irene !Hoaes
The Education Ministry has reported positive progress in Government student loan recovery since 2006.
The ministry reports a 50 percent increase in loan repayment, a figure that the ministry projects could be even higher.
Senior Public Relations Officer at the ministry, Toivo Mvula, in an interview with New Era on Tuesday attributed the positive loan recovery to the fact that students’ names were handed over to the Attorney General’s Office, apart from the realisation by the students that they cannot run away forever.
Mvula says the ministry tried numerous times to contact ex-loan holders to pay back their loans once they discovered these students were employed but to no avail.
“When students do not provide us with their employment details after many requests, we are forced to ask (for) these details from the Social Security Commission. Once we get the employment details, we forward the student files to the Attorney General’s Office which then handles the cases from there,” Mvula said.
Prior to 2006, the ministry had trouble recovering student loans from those who benefited through the loan scheme that was introduced in 1994.
Mvula said once the files are with the Attorney General’s Office, the interest rate also goes up, compared to the interest that the ministry charges, which he said stands at around 14 percent.
He says students pay back the loan at half the interest prime rate when the files are with the ministry’s Namibia Student Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF).
Mvula could, however, not divulge the amount of money ex-students owe the ministry.
“Can’t provide it, we don’t feel it’s necessary to provide it,” Mvula stated.
The ministry’s spokesperson, however, noted that about 10?