22 January 2013

Namibia: Ministry Denies Loan Glitches

GOVERNMENT study loan-holders students flocked to the offices of the Ministry of Education last week to demand answers about their unsettled accounts at the University of Namibia.

According to some holders of loans under the Namibian Student Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF), the ministry has refused to settle any outstanding balances on their student accounts. As a result, they are not allowed to register for the new academic year and cannot continue their studies.

One parent was in tears when he phoned the newspaper to complain that his daughter, who is a medicine student, cannot continue with her third year this year. He said he is unemployed and would not be able to contribute "even a penny" to his daughter's outstanding balance.

On Wednesday, officials at the education ministry had to run around to put out the fires as students refused to leave until answers were provided.

The Ministry of Education, through its spokesperson, Romeo Muyunda, denied that there were hold-ups admitted that some accounts may be outstanding.

This, he said, was the result of students not having submitted their loan contracts with the ministry after having been awarded the loan.

Moreover, Muyunda said some education students who are supposed to receive grants did not take all their particulars to the ministry.

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