NSFAS Urged To Better Its Systems Before Making Demands

Minister of Higher Education and training, Blade Nzimande

The NSFAS proposal for funding sparked controversy last week after it was misunderstood by a number of students who thought the scheme is considering increasing the pass figure of 50% to 75% to qualify for funding. After the financial aid scheme clarified the confusion, youth organisations are now demanding more than just clarity.

 


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The African National Congress Youth League Task Team (ANCYLTT) Member, Sizophila Mkhize says NSFAS demands are inconsiderate and are meant to exclude the majority of poor students.

Mkhize further added that the financial aid scheme can’t implement a blanket approach of 75% pass mark for modules when standards of resources within the higher learning institutions are not the same.

EFF Student Command (EFFSC) president, Mandla Shikwambana also weighed in, in agreement that the 75% demand is ridiculous because the NSFAS funding disbursement process is not effective and more often that not, is riddled with challenges.

The EFFSC leader says the delays in the disbursement of funds have a negative effect in the academic performance of students due to late study material, accommodation funds and food allowance.

He further alleged that the financial aid scheme is mired with corrupt activities where funds are mismanaged, which results in poor students being denied an opportunity to study.

In addition, the Democratic Alliance student leader, Sakhile Mngadi further said NSFAS can’t jump into raising the academic pass rate when they are the resource of the problem.

Mngadi advised that the financial aid scheme must deal with the challenges facing the institution before they can anticipate academic improvement.

He added that the scheme must ensure conducive environment for students such as adequate funding processes free from delays.

If NSFAS can first deal with structural challenges that affect students through its funding system, then further consideration of how students perform can be reassessed, said the DA student leader.

However, Mngadi agrees that trying to improve the performance of students is not a bad thing, but the learning environment and systems are not conducive for students to achieve the NSFAS funding demands.

ANCYLTT member, Mkhize also supported the advocacy for excellence by students but said the 75% mark to pass modules is a steep demand when students are not adequately supported to achieve such demands.

EFFSC leader argues that NSFAS is not a merit but and was established to close the inequality gap by funding poor students in higher learning institutions.

The joint youth organisation unanimously disagrees with the financial aid demands due to funding inefficacies by the institution which directly affects students academically.

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