NSFAF and Polytech Sign MoU

The Polytechnic and the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) this week signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that should finally put an end to NSFAF loan holders being denied access to registration, study facilities, examinations or to have their examination results withheld owing to unpaid tuition fees.

The MoU was signed by Polytechnic of Namibia Rector Dr Tjama Tjivikua and the Chief Executive Officer of the NSFAF, Hilya Nghiwete. The agreement is aimed at removing the perennial uncertainties and inconveniences experienced by NSFAF sponsored students over delays experienced in settling tuition fees and other benefits due to students. “Since these benefits are paid together with tuition fees, this poses a serious challenge to the [Polytechnic] since it means that the [Polytechnic] is expected to refund some of the benefits to students,” Dr Tjivikua said, adding that it has not been an easy task since the institution does not have the capacity or enough personnel to handle refunds.

Tjivikua said the fact that the number of students awarded financial support in the form of scholarships or loans by the NSFAF has increased significantly made it necessary to find better and efficient ways to manage the administrative processes and the payment of NSFAF refunds. “Year in and year out Namibian students at various institutions of higher learning are faced with similar problems such as being denied access to registration, learning facilities, examination or examination results owing to unpaid fees,” Nghiwete weighed in. According to her this repetitive tendency is undeniably retrogressive and procrastinates the realization of the personal dreams of students, while it also delays the attainment of Vision 2030 as a strategic direction that the nation has chosen for itself. “What we often hear are the cry-outs of students, but institutions of higher learning cannot entirely be blamed for such unfortunate occurrences, because they depend on the fees paid by their students for [their] momentous survival and sustainability,” she said. Nghiwete further said she is delighted to announce that the NSFAF is also at an aanced level of engagement with the University of Namibia and the International University of Management that should eventually culminate in the signing of similar MoU’s. “It should be an assurance to the nation that Namibian students remain and continue to enjoy the NSFAF’s primary focus and priority as a responsible corporate citizen and this signing and others to come speak volumes,” she said. “Without worrying about wherefrom and when financial support would be forthcoming, students can now focus on their studies,” said Polytechnic Student Representative Council vice president, Komanus Kanyanga, adding that what happens at the beginning of each year in the past, albeit unfortunate, served as an eye opener.

Source : New Era