TEARS flowed as students from various marginalised groups narrated their struggles amidst government’s standstill on tuition coverage.
The group, consisting of more than 200 students from Unam, Nust, VTC, IUM and Triumphant college are claiming that government has since last year failed to pay for their tuition fees since last year November.
The Office of the Vice President, through its division for marginalised communities, offered study grants for students, including tuition, accommodation, and pocket allowance.
The aggrieved students this morning met with officials from the Presidency.
“There is no formal communication from the office to the students. All the emails sent by students are being ignored. And now they are saying that there will be no back pay for the months they were not paid.The students won’t get their money for all the other months before that. Now the problem is many students loaned money from their peers or other people in anticipation that they will pay once they get their allowance for all the months. How does the office think the students have been surviving without the allowance? The allowance is for the day to day living of the students,” Richard Eiaseb, a pharmacist student told Infromanté.
The students are saying that efforts to get answers have proven futile, as phones go unanswered and emails ignored.
To date, three students from the Unam Khomasdal Campus have dropped out of school and have since gone back to their villages. Another one has been forced to move out of the hostel and register her modules on distance mode in order to work and pay for tuition.
This is according to the group’s Chairperson, Liesken Haraes, who added that another second year radiography student has also dropped out of school.
“This student would walk from Unam main campus to Katutura Hospital for practicals. I personally tried to get him to come back to school and he did, but when he did, the situation did not change. I have even contacted the Dean of students, who tried to personally intervene by providing him with transport for a few days but that wasn’t enough. He is now back at his village,” said Haraes.