FAWEZA welcomes phasing out of bursary scheme at tertiary level
THE Forum for African Women Educationalists of Zambia (FAWEZA) has hailed Government’s decision to phase out the students’ bursary scheme at tertiary level of education, replacing it with provisional loan schemes.
FAWEZA says the introduction of the student loan scheme is a progressive move because it will benefit the most disadvantaged students in the country.
National coordinator Daphne Chimuka said: “The current bursary scheme is abused by scholars from well-to-do families who can afford tuition fees”.
Minister of Education John Phiri announced recently that Government will soon phase-out the bursary scheme for higher learning institutions because of serious flaws in the way the current scheme is being administered.
Dr Phiri said the students’ provisional loan scheme will compel beneficiaries to pay back after completion of their tertiary education.
He said the current bursary system does not meet the expectations of the general public and also deprives vulnerable students in dire need of scholarships.
And according to a statement by the Ministry of Education this week, in-coming first year students at the University of Zambia (UNZA) who applied for bursaries have been offered provisional students’ loans.
Ms Chimuka said there is likely to be a reduction of applicants, especially by children from well-to-do families, because of the requirement for scholars to repay the loans when they graduate.
“This is progressive because the poor will be given an opportunity to access tertiary education and get their families out of poverty,” she said.
Mrs Chimuka urged Government to come up with suitable tracking systems to ensure that beneficiaries of the loans are able to pay back.
“Government must instill in the beneficiaries a sense of responsibility that would compel them pay back the loans once they complete their tertiary education. The danger is that if they do not pay back, other students in similar circumstances would not benefit,” Ms Chimuka said. / Daily Mail