Unam Southern Campus joins protest over student debt
Students at the University of Namibia (Unam) Southern Campus have pleaded with the campus management to let them sit for exams and only demand payment when students want to access their results.
During a peaceful demonstration on campus by a handful of students, while many of the students watched from a distance, the students called on the assistant provice chancellor, Dr Erold Naomab, and his management to allow students who owe the institution money to sit for their exams.
Students indicated they were only notified on Monday that students who owe Unam outstanding fees will not be allowed to sit for their exams, which they say is short notice as most parents are unable to come up with
money in a single day to settle such debt.
One of the protesting students, Kennedy Kandji, called on the institution to allow all students to sit for the exams, saying students cannot afford to pay such huge amounts in such a short period of time. He stressed that
it is best that students be allowed to write but pay when they collect their results, which will afford them enough time to get money to settle their debts.
“We are calling on the management to allow everyone to write even if they owe and then they can withhold the results as they usually do,” he drove home his point.
Some of the students also questioned why students enrolled for the Junior Primary Education Diploma are suddenly being denied the chance to sit for exams while government informed them prior to taking up their studies that they will be fully funded by the Namibian Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF), as their course is considered
a priority. “NSFAF must do something – we are Namibians and we want to write, but should we do miracles to get money or where will we get money from?” said Ayakutamunuaune Kauzera, a first year student.
Contacted for comment, Naomab said management would engage the students but as of yesterday afternoon the decision to deny examination entrance to students with unpaid tuition fees still stood.
“The information, as it was communicated to students, remains the same, and nothing has changed at this moment,” he said. Regarding students who are doing a diploma in junior primary education, he said there was no official communication to such students indicating they will be exempted from paying tuition fees.
He said the students might have been misled by someone into believing this, and he explained that the diploma is considered a priority by government as there is a lack of teachers at that level and negotiations on the executive level are ongoing to see if any support can be rendered to students, but this is not yet concrete