HESLB sets loan appeal window

This is to allow students to challenge non-qualification, grading decision 

THE Higher Education Students’ Loans Board (HESLB) is opening a 90-day appealing window to allow new and continuing students to challenge the board’s grading decision and subsequently cover a gap of over 5,000 students whose funds for loans have already been set aside.

The window set to be open tomorrow will involve students who did not qualify for the bursary and those who were not satisfied with the grading system for academic year 2016/17. HESLB’s newly appointed Executive Director Mr Abdul- Razaq Badru told a news conference in Dar es Salaam yesterday a total of 5,326 students will benefit.

The government approved 483bn/- budget support for HESLB for academic year 2016/17. The budget was for 119,012 students of which 93,295 are continuing students and 25,717 are new students.

But official statement issued by the HESLB boss says out of the intended 25,717 students only 20,391 students had been approved for bursary leaving a gap of about 5,326. The number lined-up to benefit from this year’s high education student loan board is relatively limited but other than budgetary constraints, the government outlined yesterday that other reason why some students were not considered for this year’s support included poor filling of application forms.

It’s on record that the Tanzania Commission for Universities (TCU) has this year announced to enroll about 58,000 students with Form Six qualifications and those with equivalent credentials, who were not admitted in the previous rounds.

Mr Badru said at the conference that at least 6,851 students did not bother to apply for financial support, whereas some also tried to apply but did not finish the application process as others were disqualified for lack of qualification.

“Some were above 30 years and some had finished Form Six three years prior to application,” he noted. The HESLB boss insisted however that the decision by the board to issue a 90-day grace period will allow those who were not happy with the earlier decision to appeal for additional bursary.

Mr Badru said the board has so far disbursed about 90 per cent of the required funding to all benefiting higher learning institutions’ account ready for allocating the funds to respective students.Yet he said the organisation is expecting to collect 56bn/- this year from previous recipients.

Meanwhile, the executive director said the government was reviewing all applicants to ensure all the students approved for bursary are those targeted by the governing law. He additionally said that from next month, the board will develop a special assessment form to review current financial status of all continuing students. This means that if students submit reports and their parents are proved to be financially stable, the board will revoke the bursary to a student.

But, Mr Badru said this will also help the board update its record however helping students who needs additional financial support. Institute of Financial Management (IFM) students organisation President Mr Kilonzo Mringa and University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) First Year Student Mr Edison Mwakyombe were concerned with the grading system used by the board, saying it had pushed away several students from poor family backgrounds.

“We have more than 50 continuing students at the Institute. Both of them are orphans and we are still registering more enrolled this year all of these have not been given student boom,” Mr Mringa pointed out.

Mr Mwakyombe, who is an orphan and enrolled to pursue Bachelor of Education degree at the University of Dar es Salaam, said he was not among the beneficiary despite having all the requirements to be part of the beneficiaries.

However, HESLB Manager for Information, Education and Communication, Mr Omega Ngole, explained that most students who did not qualify for financial support had not submitted the required documents or have not filled all the required details.

“Some applicants forgot to sign the documents while some submitted applications with their copies not having been certified ... they can’t get the loan,” he stressed.

HESLB sets loan appeal window HESLB sets loan appeal window Reviewed by on 9:47:00 PM Rating: 5

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