Sheehama urges GRN to prioritise funding for needy students

Martin Endjala

As the 2024 academic year begins, many students are actively seeking funding for tertiary education through various institutions, with the most common being the Namibia Student Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF).

Josef Sheehama, an Independent Bank Researcher and Economist, believes that funding should be directed towards those who need it the most.

Sheehama stated that the government must make strategic funding decisions to ensure that financial resources are allocated to those students who are in serious need, rather than those who are already financially stable.

He also reiterated the limited availability of resources and the necessity of allocating them judiciously.

“Given these constraints, student funding will be significantly limited. Therefore, prioritizing need-based support ensures that students who require it the most receive assistance. While we are aware that there are not enough funds to accommodate all students, the government must ensure that those in dire need are given priority,” he stated.

Sheehama believes that while the government may marginally increase the educational budget, it will not be sufficient to address issues such as overcrowded classrooms or schools.

Consequently, he argued that it is the government’s mandate to formulate a strategy to support students and learners effectively.

Taking into consideration the high unemployment rates, especially among those from impoverished backgrounds, Sheehama emphasized the urgency of alleviating the plight of students.

He further suggested that the government should consider reallocating funds from state-owned entities’ budgets to bolster the education sector.

Meanwhile, during NSFAF’s official launch of the 2024 online application last year, Acting Chief Executive Officer Kennedy Kandume revealed that the Fund has projected a financial need of N$2.5 billion to support the applicants for the 2024 financial year.

Education, Arts, and Culture Minister Anna Nghipondoka recently announced that 10,261 learners, constituting 25.2 percent of the 40,682 full-time candidates who sat for the 2023 national examination, have qualified to advance to Grade 12 or tertiary education.

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