Nanso continues education battle
24 September 2019 | Skole
At a recent media conference held by the Namibia National Students Organisation (Nanso), it was announced by its president Ester Simon that among the student issues being solved is non-tuition fees that are still outstanding, which will soon be paid by Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF).
Following NSFAF’s decision to fund the more than 12 000 students that were initially turned away, the good news keeps flowing for students.
According to Simon, NSFAF representatives will be dispersed to local institutions of higher learning this week to attend to any queries regarding the processing of payments, as well as issuing of cards, in addition to assisting with the signing of new contracts.
Simon was speaking after a joint media conference with the ministry of higher education, as well as other stakeholders. It was announced that 100% of tuition fees will be funded, as well as full contractual non-tuition fees.
“Quality and free tertiary education remains our generational call,” Simon said.
She said through policy engagement and radical intervention, the higher education sector can be enhanced.
She reminded the private sector of the role it has to play within the education sphere, adding it is not solely the responsibility of the government.
“Once these students graduate, some of them go into government institutions and others are absorbed by the private sector, and therefore we need to meet each other halfway and have a collective effort,” she said.
Another issue that was resolved, according to Simon, was that of the 58 Namibia Institute of Technology (NIMT) students, who were studying a particular course at level 3 for an entire year, only to find out after receiving their certificates that it is not accredited by Namibia Qualifications Authority (NQA).
After the completion of this qualification, the students had to move to other institutions to study the same course, where it is accredited by the NQA.
The NSFAF-funded students then requested that their student loans be transferred to cater for their costs at their new institution, but were turned down due to policy constraints.
“Through consistent interrogation, dialogue and continuous engagement, the fund has given in and the loans will be transferred,” Simon said.
A challenge at the Windhoek Vocational Training Centre was also disclosed. “There is a serious crisis at the WVTC,” said Simon, explaining that students receive funding from NSFAF, and from that funding, money is deducted for equipment that students never receive. “We are left to question; where is the money going and who is accountable?” Simon revealed that if no answers are given, Nanso would be forced to take a “radical approach”.
“This is a direct call to those at the WVTC. We are coming in full swing. For us the struggle continues for students,” said Simon Taapopi, Nanso secretary-general, who he reiterated that the organisation has been there for 35 years and will continue fighting for students.