Windhoek-The Namibia National Students’ Organisation (Nanso) on Friday met with the management of the Namibian Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) and Students Representative Councils (SRC) of different local tertiary education institutions to discuss the welfare of students.
The meeting looked at issues of student funding, particularly the outstanding tuition and non-tuition fees payments, as well as the changes in the use of acknowledgement letters at registration for first year students.
With regard to outstanding tuition payments, Nanso secretary general Simon Taapopi said NSFAF CEO Hilya Nghiwete confirmed that NSFAF settled all invoices for tuition fees and hostel accommodation received from institutions in December.
He said the meeting noted that outstanding invoices would be settled once the fund received them, and that student leaders should compile a list of loan beneficiaries whose invoices the fund had not yet received.
Taapopi also said SRCs were tasked to compile the lists and present them to NSFAF starting today.
The NSFAF agreed to schedule meetings with the different institutions of higher learning to ensure that all beneficiaries whose accounts were in arrears would be investigated and processed.
“NSFAF will communicate the schedule of the meetings with different institutions on Monday,” he said.
Regarding acknowledgement letters, Taapopi said Nanso’s stand had always been to defend access to quality education, and to condemn anything that threatened such access.
In this vein, he said the organisation expressed its dissatisfaction with the fund and had tasked itself to convene a meeting of the Ministry of Higher Education, the institutions of higher learning, NSFAF, and Nanso to allow the fund’s new beneficiaries to register without paying tuition deposits at registration.
He indicated that they expected the meeting to take place this week.
As far as non-tuition fee payments, Taapopi said NSFAF took the position that until the Ministry of Finance made additional funding available to the fund, it would be unable to make any non-tuition payments to beneficiaries.
In response to this, Taapopi said Nanso planned to mobilise all students who had not yet received their full tuition fees to undertake a mass submission of letters of demand, sternly calling on the fund to honour the contracts of students and to pay non-tuition fees.
He said they would release details of the planned mass submission of letters of demand today.
Taapopi urged students and prospective university students to remain calm, and to wait for further directives from the organisation.