New strategies sought to fight graft in higher learning loans

CURBING corruption in higher learning financing systems is a long term effort that must be given strategic importance and adequate resources.

This was said yesterday by the Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Professor Simon Msanjila, during the Annual Conference and General Meeting of the Association of African Higher Education Agencies in Dar es Salaam, where he was also the chief guest.

He said that the government has taken stern measures to all universities and colleges that in one way or the other collude and uses higher education loans to ghost students.

The meeting, which was attended by several higher learning Chief Executive Officers from several African countries, also brought together stakeholders from the education sector.

“Take stern measures to ensure your agencies are graft free environment as you manage and administer higher education loans, scholarships and bursaries,” said the PS.

He said that the challenges to higher education financing are enormous, and therefore urged participants to put their thoughts together and find solutions to eminent problems facing African countries.

He further said that a strong linkage and cooperation is needed between the higher education loan boards, universities, employment sector, tax authorities, credit bureaus, national identity authorities, immigration departments, employers associations and banking systems if the loans issued are to be repaid on timely fashion.

On his part, Pius Makomelelu, on behalf of Hakielimu Director, said that problems surrounding the financing of higher education institutions are worldwide though the problem is more intense in Sub-Saharan Africa.

He said the reason for such increased challenges in the region includes the increased per unit cost of higher education and the pressure for increased enrollments particularly where high birth rates are coupled with a rapidly increased young people finishing secondary schools with aspirations for tertiary education.

“Delegates, many governments and parents cannot guarantee sustainable funding to the youth population dreaming of higher education,” he said.

The Ghana Students Loan Trust Fund Chief Executive Officer, Mrs Sheilla Naah-Boamah, said that as stakeholders in education they must continue to use such platforms to draw attention to some of the issues that are barriers to loan access, including the ever increasing cost of obtaining higher education for the African student .

She said that available research continues to confirm that people with higher education will earn at least 60 percent more than their colleagues who terminate at the high school level.

“The solution to eradicating poverty will, therefore, be hinged strongly on our ability to progress from enviable basic school enrollments rates achieved under the MDGs to sustaining such enrollment through to higher levels that travels not only beyond high school but also responds to the needs of the labor market,” she said.

Speaking on behalf of the Tanzania Standard (Newspapers) Limited (TSN) who are part of the sponsors of the meeting, the company’s Head of Research, Innovation and Documentation, Ms Ichikaeli Maro, said accessing funding was central to getting quality training both within and outside – and, therefore, the objective of AAHEFA is of utmost importance to young Tanzanians, including upcoming journalists.

“TSN will be a keen observer of your deliberations agreed at the end of your meeting -- because the current and future journalists, just like any other professionals in the country, demands that they become highly trained in all fields of life,” she said.

New strategies sought to fight graft in higher learning loans New strategies sought to fight graft in higher learning loans Reviewed by on 10:03:00 PM Rating: 5

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