THE Chairperson of the board of Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF), Klemens /Awarab, says no job losses will be effected when the reintegration of NSFAF as a department into the ministry of higher education happens.
/Awarab explains that although the public’s perception is that the Fund will be dissolved, that is not the case. According to him, what will happen is a reintegration process, which he says will be done in a cautious and transparent manner. “It is not a dissolution but rather a reintegration, which is a result of a Cabinet directive. The process will be carefully looked at. With these COVID-19 effects and job losses, the process is one that is well thought through. Discussions are still ongoing. We were made aware of it earlier this year. Management must have spoken to the staff members already, “/Awarab explains.
Meanwhile, Student Union of Namibia President, Bernhard Kavau, has condemned the move, saying that the Fund ought to be an independent body, to avoid politicising it. Kavau was speaking at a press conference with other student leaders saying NSFAF should instead fall under the Directorate of Finance in Finance Ministry
Kavau further suggests that before ‘dissolving’ NSFAF, the challenges it is facing should first be resolved. Challenges such as maladministration, late payment of student loans, huge salaries for employees, no offices across the country and discrimination against some universities.
“How does moving NSFAF to the ministry solve this if already when it was there it failed? NSFAF is supposed to be an independent body to avoid politicking. For equity, quality and democracy we need an independent body. If people are not doing their work at NSFAF, they must be held accountable rather than dissolving it, so what do we do with the new building that is new now? There is a lot that needs to be answered, “Kavau stresses.
/Awarab however clarifies that the move does not mean a physical move, that the same building will still be utilised for the office, although its operations will fall under the Higher Education, Training and Innovation Ministry.