4 July 2012

Tanzania: Ministry to Submit New Student Loans System

Dodoma — The Ministry of Education and Vocational Training will soon submit before the National Assembly a new system of identifying students who qualify for loans from Higher Education Students' Loans Board (HESLB).

Deputy Minister Philipo Mulugo said here on Tuesday that the new criteria and regulations relating to loan processing, allocation and scrutinization will be transparent and better than before.

"The National Assembly advised the ministry to review the current loan application procedures, which they felt was cumbersome and has regularly caused bitter exchange of words between university students who fail to secure government loans to pursue their studies and the government.

He said the new system will begin during the coming financial year of 2012/2013, insisting however, that there would be strict cross-checking to ensure compliance in loan applications. The Deputy Minister was responding to a supplementary question by Mr Yahya Kassim Issa (Chwaka-CCM), who wanted to know when the current system of issuing loans to students would be reviewed.

In his basic question, Mr Jaku Hashimu Ayoub (House of Representatives), demanded explanations from the government as to when the HESLB office would be opened in Zanzibar. The MP also wanted to know criteria used to set up almost all Public Universities in the Mainland and only few in Zanzibar.

Mr Mulugo said the HESLB office in Zanzibar was opened on April 1, this year. He said the office is situated at Kinazini Street close to Bank of Tanzania (BOT) building in Unguja. He also said that each side of the Union has Public Universities but said more universities have been set up in the Mainland because of it bigger size as compared to Isles, history and the founder's requirement.

However, he said regardless of where the universities are being built the purpose has always remained the same-to offer equal opportunities to all youths in the country to pursue their higher education regardless of which side of the union they come from so long as one meets qualification to join them. Mr Mulugo further said that Zanzibar has five Public Universities and two Private Universities, while the Mainland has 11 Public Universities and 34 Private Universities.

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