Over 4 000 students fail to claim NSFAF funding

By Hertta-Maria Amutenja

THE Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) has been imploring to 4 119 students and their parents to sign documents in order to obtain their student funding since May but to no avail, NSFAF head Kennedy Kandume has said.

NSFAF has revealed that it has 4 119 outstanding contracts with students from the University of Namibia, Namibia University of Science and Technology, International University of Management and other tertiary institutions.  The delay from students to sign their NSFAF contracts will result in non-payment of tuition and non-tuition fees, the institution has stated.

Of the 4 119 outstanding contracts from the students, 2 321 are for students who were awarded one year contracts last year and needed to recontract with the institution. While 1 798 cases are for the students awarded in 2020 who have not come forth to sign their contracts.

Kandume told Confidente that NSFAF started giving notifications to students regarding their unsigned contracts since May.

“We started to give notice in May and the students had a 60-day period to come forth and sign their contracts.  They were supposed to sign by the end of July 2020 but to no avail. We have now extended the period to the 18th September 2020, hopefully then they all would have come forth,” said Kandume.

He went to state that NSFAF has sent out numerous reminders, forwarding the names of the students that have not signed to student leaders and to institutions of higher learning and publicised the names on their website .

“We have sent out the list of names to the vocational centres, universities and also to the student groups in hope they can assist us. We are still waiting on the leaders on whether they have reached out to the members. We tried but to not avail so now our final resort was the newspapers hopefully they can be of help,” he said.

In addition Kandume pleaded with the students to come out and sign their contracts so that they can finalise the loan/ grant processing for the year.  He also urged that if they did not sign their contracts it could result in their tuition and non-tuition fees not being paid.

“These students need to come forth and make sure they sign their contracts before the 18th September or they forfeit the opportunity to be funded by the institution. In fact they can just forget about the funds,” he stated.

Speaking to Confidente the secretary of education at Namibia National Students Organisation (NANSO), Malcolm Kambanzera confirmed that their office had received the list of names and are doing everything they can to assist NSFAF.

“We are aware of the students that have not signed their contracts yet and have jumped on board to help in any possible way. We have done numerous announcements via all our platforms. We have reached all available platforms. Our stance is to urge all students to come on board and finalise their applications,” said Kambanzera.

However senior bursary officer of University Of Namibia Webster Likando said the institution had not received the list of names.

“The last time we had a discussion with NSFAF, which was about the second week of August, I had told them to send us the list of students that have not signed yet so that we could put it up on our portal, but they have not. The last email I received from them was the list of students that have signed their contracts not of those that have not,” he said. The names of the beneficiaries will be published in Confidente’s next edition.