WINDHOEK, Jan. 24 – The SWAPO Party Youth League Secretary Comrade Ephraim Nekongo led a delegation of youth leaders which included the SPYL Secretary for Education, Comrade Hofni Iipinge and the NANSO President Comrade Ester Simon to a high level meeting with the President of the Republic of Namibia His Excellency Dr. Hage Geingob, Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa – Amadhila, SWAPO Party Secretary General Comrade Sophia Shaningwa and Minister of Finance Hon. Calle Schleitwein to discuss the issue of registration of students at Higher Education Institutions and the funding challenges besetting the NSFAF.
The high level meeting concluded, among other matters, that Government will provide funding (N$150 million) to settle outstanding debts at the Institutions of Higher Education; the NSFAF to issue award letters to enable the students to register; that Higher Education Institutions to allow students to register without being required to pay a registration fee and 50% of the total fees at the point of registration.
“The University of Namibia and Namibia University of Science and Technology are subsidized 80% and 70% respectively by the government therefore we urge them to consider the plight of student as a significant matter,” read a statement.
The SWAPO Party Youth League applauded Geingob for taking a bold decision “during this challenging economic time, the SPYL would also like to thank the SWAPO Party Secretary General, Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and all stakeholders involved for committing to finding swift solutions to the current stand-off between Higher Education Institutions and the NSFAF.”
The SPYL also reiterated the President’s call for open dialogue on issues affecting Namibians, in particular issues affecting the youth and called on all students to remain calm, positive and focused as solutions to the current challenges are being implemented and more so not to allow themselves to be used for political gain.
Furthermore, the SPYL called for Government’s intervention to immediately stop any further capital related projects under the NSFAF; that Government expedite the amendment of the NSFAF Act No. 26 of 2000 as amended; to place the NSFAF under the Ministry of Finance; and that NSFAF award scholarships to the top five performers for the 2017 academic year. – NDN Staffer