WINDHOEK – The Namibia National Students Organisation (Nanso) in the Khomas Region has urged the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) to speed up the process of paying outstanding non-tuition fees dating as far as last year to students.
Nanso’s Khomas Regional Secretary, Shoki Kandjimi said they take note of the outstanding non-tuition fees emanating from last year and that of this year.
This is despite the fact that NSFAF earlier this year had assured their current beneficiaries that the fund is busy processing N$75 million that was made available as a partial payment towards the outstanding refunds from the non-tuition fees.
There are a lot of NSFAF loan holders who complained that the fund did not give their full refunds for 2017, saying they only received N$3 000.
Kandjimi said in their petition last year, Nanso advised NSFAF on modalities of how to make payments to students. One of them was that the fund pays students on a quarterly basis or on a monthly basis to help students sustain themselves during the course of the semesters.
“However, NSFAF continues to ignore our proposal. I would like to inform you all that non-tuition fees are as important as tuition fees. Many students rely on it for studying materials such as books, accommodation and transport. Therefore, NSFAF must speed up the process and make payments to students no later than the end of July as our students return for the next semester,” he noted.
Further, he said Nanso through its General Student Council structure in 2015, resolute that all loans must be transformed into grants. However, Kandjimi stressed, as student leaders, they are fully aware and very concern of the recent plans by NSFAF to change student’s grants to loans.
“We hereby condemn and reject that proposed policy, and feel that such ideas are anti-poor, anti-students. Therefore, NSFAF should be warned not to divert from its primary mandate of assisting students to a loan scheme and or private financial entity,” he remarked.
Regarding paying back NSFAF loans, he said Nanso and the Student Representative Council of the institutions of higher education in Khomas still maintain that student will not pay back the money.
“We want to make it categorically clear that we are not paying back the loan money. It is our parent’s money and we shall never be pressured to pay back anything,” he reacted.
He said it is their mandate to organise, mobilise, and unite all students of Namibia so as to be able to participate fully in the social, cultural, economic and political life of society.
Therefore, he noted, it is their prerogative as a student body, to defend the rights and interest of students to free quality education without any discrimination on the basis of sex, colour, religion, creed, economic status or political affiliation.
Furthermore, he said Nanso take note of all the difficulties and challenges their members are confronted with during this crucial time of examination but they are working around the clock to get positive outcome and find amicable solutions. The Nanso leadership called upon students to focus, study hard and wished them the best of luck with their exams especially those at tertiary institutions who are busy writing.
They also wished all their learners in Khomas the best for the second term and urged them to work hard in achieving good grades.