HIGHER Education Students’ Loans Board (HESLB) yesterday announced the first batch of 30,675 fresh university students who will be granted loans amounting to 113.5bn/- for academic year 2019/2020.
During the fiscal year, the government has allocated 450bn/- for 128,285—45,000 fresh and 83,285 continuing students—in higher learning institutions.
HELSB Executive Director Abdul-Razaq Badru told reporters in Dar es Salam yesterday that the board is still appraising applications from the needy and eligible applicants who were recently admitted in varsities during the third window of application.
“The next batch of students who will be issued with loans will be released before the end of next week,” he explained, adding, “Recipients in the first batch are advised to visit their SIPA (Student’s Individual Permanent Account) on HESLB website (olas.heslb.go.tz).”
Mr Badru explained that the government has already allocated the board with 125bn/- for the new and continuing students for the period covering October and December, this year.
The break-down of the first batch indicate that 19,632 of the beneficiaries, representing 64 per cent are males while the remaining 11,043 are females, making 36 per cent.
The list shows further that 6,142 beneficiaries are either orphans or have lost one parent whilst 277 are from poor families which are being supported by the Tanzania Social Action Fund (TASAF).
According to Mr Badru, 280 recipients are disabled whereas 1,890 are those who studied in private school under scholarships from individuals or charity organisations.
In the past, students who studied in private schools were regarded as ineligible as it was presumed that if they were able to study in such schools, some of which with very high fees, then they could afford to pay fees in varsities.
However, Mr Badru explained yesterday that the HESLB satisfied itself that some of the students from the private schools are from poor families but studied under scholarships from benefactors.
“What is required from such applicants is a written proof and documents from their sponsors indicating that they indeed studied under scholarships,” he explained.
HESLB’s Director of Loan Allocation and Disbursement Dr Veronica Nyahende explained further that applications for over 16,000 are still pending since their application forms have shortcomings.
“This group was given between September 30 and October 10 to correct the errors. It is worthy to note that the number of erroneous applications has significantly declined this year, thanks to public awareness campaign conducted by the board to prospective beneficiaries,” she explained.
Some cases of wrong applications this year include students who submitted academic certificates which were not certified by the Registration, Insolvency and Trusteeship Agency (RITA) in Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar Civil Status Registration Agency (ZCSRA) in Zanzibar.