President Peter Mutharika has directed treasury to release additional resources that will accommodate the needy and deserving public university students who were withdrawn or were on the verge of facing the chop due to non payment of tuition fees.
The President has also ordered National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) to approve all applications of loans from students who withdrew from public universities due to lack of fees and upkeep.
Students Loans board chair, Geoffrey Chipungu said this in Lilongwe on Monday during a news conference.
Parliament approved K1.5 billion to carter for the 2015 to 2016 loans scheme and for the establishment of loans board secretariat and the management of its operations.
“Whilst 10,355 students applied to access the loans, the board reached out to 4,663 public and private university students using a cost
sharing mechanism meaning that no student was granted 100% loan as applied for,” said Chipungu
The President’s response comes at the back of substantial withdrawals of students from the country’s public universities.
Last month Malawi News reported that over 300 students have withdrawn from Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Luanar) due to lack of finances to support their studies.
In addition, it has come into light that some students on campuses are spending time trading goods to raise money for upkeep.
A student from Polytechnic made headlines weeks ago when he was pictured selling beans on campus to make ends meet.
In trying to reverse the anomaly President Mutharika has ordered that all withdrawn students be given upkeep and stationery allowances immediately to allow them resume studies as soon ad possible.
Chipungu has since appealed to all the withdrawn students to go back to their respective colleges and register their names with their
According to Chipungu more than 285 students will benefit from the presidential directive window.
A coalition of citizens and civil society groups locally known as Citizen Alliance recently called upon Mutharika who is also the Chancellor of the public universities to intervene and fully guide process of bailing out the needy students so that they complete their tertiary education so that they are able to become independent and productive citizens for the country.
Citizen Alliance Chair who is also executive Director of the Eye For Development, Edward Chileka Banda said it is unfortunate that most young people are dropping out of University due to school fees.
“We recommend that University Loan scheme should primarily target applicants from public secondary schools the majority of which are from the less-privileged families and that Government should recapitalize the Education Loan scheme so that the needy students should quickly access the facility,”said Chileka Banda.
Banda said the drive to recover university loans must be sustained and supported by all.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :