Proposal to dish out 100pc loans to students rejected

Proposal to dish out 100pc loans to students rejected

THE government has rejected the proposal for all students to get 100 per cent education loans, regardless of the schools they attended, but is ready to receive opinions on how to further improve the current system.

Deputy Minister for Education, Science and Technology Omary Kipanga said that loans provided by the government through the Higher Education Student Loans Board (HESLB) are governed by the Higher Education Students Loans Board Act, Cap 178.

Responding to a question in Parliament, the Deputy Minister clarified that the law stipulates that the beneficiaries of the loans are the needy students.

“Currently, student needs are assessed by analysing the information submitted during the loan application,” he said.

According to Mr Kipanga, the analysis uses a Means Testing Tool which determines the level of the need for an individual applicant in comparison with others.

In addition, Mr Kipanga said, the need of the beneficiary is used to determine the amount he/she is entitled to get, based on the cost of the degree he/she has been selected to pursue.

“After comparative analysis, applicants are allocated with loans according to their needs,” he said.

He also explained that there is no specific school criterion studied by the applicant and beneficiary in the guidelines, criteria and qualifications available for one to benefit from higher education loans.

Mr Kipanga was responding to questions from Ussi Pondeza (Chumbuni-CCM), who wanted to know if it was the time for the government to consider all students to benefit by 100 per cent regardless of the schools they attended.

He also sought to know how the government was assisting retired parents in the public services, who have failed to contribute to higher education costs.

Responding, the deputy minister explained that the government believes the current system of identifying and allocating loans to needy people from families, who cannot afford higher education for their children, is self-sufficient.

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