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NAMIBIA: Students fight for equal funding

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Students from different institutions around Windhoek held a rally yesterday marching from Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust) to the ministry of higher education to advocate for equal funding.
They also protest against a host of issues that have plagued their universities and institutions of learning.

These include full payment of student’s non-tuition fees from 2017 to 2020, settlement of financial aid to Namibia students abroad, funding for postgraduate, abolishment of pre-determined rate funding among other issues. According to the petition from the United Student Movement to the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) and regional governors, various students’ leadership organs have engaged and submitted complaints to NSFAF, MOHETI, and MOF on outstanding student fees (tuition and non-tuition) and little has been actioned hitherto.
“Due to non-action, the situation has gone out of hand and today we are not sure whether NSFAF will be able to fund students who will be in their first year for the 2021 academic year, as the Ministry of Finance and Higher education continue to allocate inadequate funding to NSFAF year after year,” the petition further read.

The students at the fore of the protest cried that they are in fear that their voices and concerns have for long been abysmally ignored.
The movement accused the minister of higher education, Itah Kandjii-Murangi of being unable to relate with students and other sectors further stating that her character has degenerated the higher education sector. In response to the student’s cries, the ministry of higher education promised to get back to them as soon as possible.

Based on the statement issued on Monday by NSFAF, the government has made N$345 million available towards the payment of non-tuition fees for tertiary students.

“The payments will commence on Tuesday and take place until 10 November 2020 and that all students who have received a partial payment before will receive the full outstanding balance. Students who have not received any payment to date, due to delayed contract signing and attainment of Bank Windhoek cards will receive the whole amount of N$17 000 or N$21 600 at once,” said NSFAF, further adding that the 2018/19 and first-year beneficiaries who did not receive any non-tuition fees will also be paid full amounts as per their contracts.

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