Ministry, NSFAF Leave Students in a Bind

ALLOW me space in your good old newspaper to air my disappointment regarding the Ministry of Education in general, and the Namibian Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) in particular.

Firstly, I would like to express my sincere gratitude for the efforts the aforementioned bodies are taking in striving to grant Namibian students opportunities in the form of financial assistance to study at some prestigious universitiescolleges all over the world. I am one of the lucky ones (not feeling so lucky as I’m writing this) on a fully-paid scholarship, pursuing my studies at an institution in Malaysia.

I’m very disappointed in the way the fund has decided to ditch paying out stipends (which was supposed to be paid towards the end of July 2014).

Believe me, I’m not complaining. I am merely concerned with the way the situation might turn out if the fund continues to delay the payments of money to the students now or in the future.

Of course the NSFAF gave their reasons for delaying the funds, which some of us only know from hearsay.

Reasons like some students have dropped their studies and have since returned to Namibia or have gone to “God-knows-where” without informing the fund and they are still receiving the stipends.

The fund therefore decided to demand that we, the current students, provide the fund with

(1) letter of acceptance or proof of registration

(2) current, latest academic progress reportsresults.

Now this is a laudable gesture from those responsible for the administration of the fund, but the timing is totally wrong and therefore, one will deem that a poor, inconsiderate decision from the fund’s leaders.

Firstly, you don’t tell me a day before I am to receive my only means of income that I will not be receiving it on time.

Secondly, the fund should have had measures in place to circumvent such petty hiccups! Progress results are what they require for loan holders in Namibia at the end of every academic semester! Why didn’t they have such measures for students in Malaysia?

Why are they demanding them just two days before the students are supposed to receive their money? Why don’t they send the money to their representatives in Malaysia? Because I’m sure they can solve these issues faster either by handing out the money physically to the students or by getting letters from the universities.

How are we supposed to be living in the meantime while they are solving these issues?

Remember, some of us are parents we also left our jobs in Namibia to come and further our studies here. It is unacceptable for the fund to delay the stipends with the minor reasons they gave so close to the day we were about to receive them.

Even if we had back-up plans back home, which most of us don’t have, how are we supposed to call them and make the necessary arrangements? We already had cases of alleged prostitution by some Namibian students in Ukraine.

Poor management like this will surely go a long way in helping situations like that.

What if a student borrows money from a bad person here and end up being killed for it? I don’t want to mention all the possible scenarios. I’m sure a logical person will figure them all out.

To my fellow students: we need to be wise too, let us manage the money we receive wisely. Money will never be enough! Situations like these are likely to occur over and over, so keep some money saved for emergencies.

Source : The Namibian