The value of higher education cannot be underplayed as it is essential not only for personal development, but also for overall economic growth in countries worldwide. Hence, every government make sure that it takes all the necessary steps to improve the state of higher education and make it accessible for everyone, whether rich or underprivileged.
Perhaps, it is for this reason the Higher Education Department in South Africa is currently searching for helpful ways that will enable it to offer funding to learners who are from families with too much family income to become eligible for the NSFAS (National Student Financial Aid Scheme), but not adequate enough to financially support tertiary education.
|Image source : tinyurl.com/p5f9cwf|
Funding ‘missing middle’ students
Dr. Blade Nzimande, Minister for Higher Education and Training in South Africa, recently spoke about the issue while speaking at a media meeting in Parliament to announce the appointment of Sizwe Nxasana, outgoing FirstRand CE, as the chairman of the scheme. He said that the problem could result in unwanted and corrupt practices at the financing sphere. The Higher Education Minister claimed that many students who are unable to meet the funding criteria of the scheme often look for fraudulent means to access it due to their desperation.
|Image source : tinyurl.com/p93n35d|
Coping with challenges
However, the distribution of loans for the scheme’s has become the central reason for aggressive student protests in various college campuses across the nation in the past few years as a result of the lack of funding. According to Dr. Nzimande, the students who are considered the so-called “missing middle” are children whose family income is more than the benchmark of the scheme, presently set at R122,000 per year. These students realised they were trapped in a rather desperate situation.
|Image source : tinyurl.com/on6blo4|
Need for identifying corruption
The South African Higher Education Minister recently said that the department was unable to identify how widely corruption had spread across the scheme, “but we have a lot of anecdotal evidence.”
Dr. Nzimande added “We need to tap into that.... We hope that Mr Nxasana’s background is even more of an advantage, particularly to reach out to business to make additional contributions.”
What do you think? Add to the discussion by commenting here. We would love to hear from you.
Article source - tinyurl.com/ozqolp7