THE Namibia National Students Organisation (Nanso) has assisted a total of 8 207 students at higher education institutions in Namibia through their recently launched 'Access to Education' campaign.
This was detailed in a statement issued by Nanso president Simon Taapopi on Monday, lauding the campaign as a success. The campaign assists students through policy planning, lobbying and advocacy to access education.
This was done through coordinating with the ministry of education to accommodate students who were misplaced due to lack of funding or placement.
"The national executive committee resolved to embark on an Access to Education campaign with the objective of ensuring that every Namibian child has access to education and has the opportunity to enjoy the right to education enshrined in the Namibian Constitution," the statement reads.
The campaign, which began in early January, ended last week.
According to figures provided by Nanso, the majority of students that benefited from their campaign were at the University of Namibia (Unam). The organisation assisted 2 216 students at Unam's main campus in Windhoek, 723 at the Khomasdal campus, 991 at the Hifikipunye Pohamba campus, 409 at the Oshakati campus, 614 at the Katima Mulilo campus, and 418 at the Southern campus.
Furthermore, he detailed that they assisted 1 287 students at Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust), 1 143 at the International University of Management (IUM) and 406 trainees at the Windhoek Vocational Training Centre (VTC).
Taapopi said the campaign achieved a reduction in registration fees for Namibian Student Financial Assistance Fund (Nsfaf) and privately funded students at Nust and Unam, and an extension on registration dates with the exclusion of the exorbitant late registration fees.
They also achieved a reduction in registration fees at Windhoek VTC, and assisted 7 841 students at higher education institutions around the country with NSFAF applications, registrations, certification of documents, hostel applications and late applications.
Under basic education, Taapopi said the organisation assisted the Kavango East region reach 100% enrolment and placement of learners.
In that region, 7 866 pupils were enrolled and placed in Grade 1, 5 231 in Grade 8 and 3 850 in Grade 10, Taapopi revealed.
Furthermore, the organisation also reported that their campaign facilitated enrolment for 809 pupils in the Khomas, Erongo, Zambezi and Kharas regions, respectively; and placement for more than 2 000 pupils in the Oshana region.
"Comrades, through the hard work of our ground soldiers, I can now confirm that we have indeed delivered access to education for the Namibian child," he said.
While celebrating the success of the campaign, Taapopi observed that pupils still face a number of challenges, amongst them a lack of chairs and desks in classrooms, overcrowding, challenges with accommodation and safety, and lack of funding.
"This means we have to double our efforts to ensure quality education [and] intensify our efforts towards policy planning, lobbying and advocacy," he said.
Taapopi said Nanso will make the campaign an annual engagement.
"We actually surprised ourselves. We will be doing it again at the beginning of each year," he said.