STUDENT leaders at various tertiary institutions have bemoaned the supposed delay tactics played out by the Namibian Student Assistance Fund in paying out tuition and non-tuition funds to many students who rely heavily on the funds due to poverty stricken backgrounds.
The student leaders held a press conference earlier today where they aired their concerns regarding the delay in NSFAF payment for continuing students as well as the issuing of Bank Windhoek cards to the student at various tertiary institutions.
Bank Windhoek was awarded the contract to issue out NSFAF Student cards after NAMIC’s contracted was terminated last year December.
They stated that students are tired of waiting on NSFAF to pay out their tuition and non-tuition fee causing parents to be worried as to whether they will be forced to pay their children’s tertiary fees in the end.
“Students are really crying. NSFAF is not doing anything; parents are worried about the delay from NSFAF in paying the fees and wondering if they will end up paying in the end,” said by Namibia Institute of Technology SRC President Gertrude Onesmus.
Juno Angula, NUST SRC President said that there has been a slow pace process from Bank Windhoek’s side in issuing out NSFAF card with only two campuses at the moment, being NUST and UNAM accommodating students.
He further added that, according to NSFAF, the cards will be loaded with non-tuition fee but that has not been the case
“Some of the students are being chased away from Bank Windhoek branches and told to go and get the card at their institutes. Students from Triumphant have to come all the way from their school just to come here. It is not right. They even told us that the cards will be loaded with funds but that is not true,” he said
“We notice the ecstatic and slow pace in issuing out NSFAF cards. We have therefore developed a leader Ad-hoc committee with the sole purpose of spearheading and resolving the continuous student challenges,” he said.
Angula said that the institutions have given NSFAF and Bank Windhoek until 16 August to issue out cards to all senior students and to commence with paying out pending tuition and non-tuition fees.
“We do not want to beg NSFAF but the issues must be sorted out soon as we do not want the next SRC leaders to fight for the same issues,” he said.
Bank Windhoek’s Executive Officer: Marketing and Corporate Communication Services Jacquiline Pack however denied students being chased away from the branches and insist that they have started with issuing of NSFAF cards at UNAM and NUST campuses as well as all branches in Windhoek.
“Bank Windhoek has started on boarding students and issuing them with the brand-new Bank Windhoek NSFAF Student Account cards at the UNAM and NUST campuses in Windhoek, as well as at the Bank’s branches in Windhoek since the 5th of August 2019,’ she said.
She also stated that the bank would proceed in other regions as soon as the vast majority of students in the capital have received their NSFAF Cards.
“Students are still able to go to any of the Bank Windhoek branches in Windhoek during this period, as well as after the 30th of August. The reason for starting in Windhoek was based on the vast majority of students being in the capital, whilst the learnings and experiences of the Windhoek exercise will then be extended and applied to the other towns thereafter. Bank Windhoek plans to utilize events such as trade fairs outside of Windhoek for NSFAF student on boarding purposes, whilst also considering presence at some of the campuses to further expedite the process,” she added
Pack further highlighted that the bank has thus far issued out more than 1300 NSFAF cards.
“More than 1 300 students have successfully received their cards, whilst also being registered to utilize Bank Windhoek’s digital channel services such as cellphone banking and mobile app offerings. Bank Windhoek is currently considering expanding the number of registration desks at campuses to on board at least 250 students per working day. Registration at the mentioned campuses will continue until the end of August 2019.