By Linda Kwanjana
The Bible says anyone who has borrowed should have audacity and zeal to pay.
It is behind this background that the Higher Education Students’ Loans and Grants Board launched the campaign theme dubbed “Make a Difference: Empower the Future.”
Speaking on the importance of the campaign , the loans board’s spokesperson, Dr Henry Chingaipe, said the campaign is so important especially bringing a new reminder to those whose loans are due.
Chingaipe said ; “This campaign carries immense importance, not only for our nation’s educational system but also for the future of our students and our society at large,”
He said education is the cornerstone of progress and the pathway to a brighter future.
Chingaipe commends saying has always been committed to providing access to quality higher education for all, regardless of economic background, through the provision of loans.
“To this end, student loans have been instrumental in empowering aspiring students to achieve their dreams and unlock their potential.
The loans have enabled numerous students to pursue higher education since 1985 when the government of Malawi introduced the loan scheme. However, the sustainability of these loans relies on the timely and voluntary repayment of loans once recipients have completed their studies and entered the workforce,” he said.
The board’s PRO says , despite some former loan beneficiaries paying back loans, many others are yet to honor their obligations, saying non-payment of loans hinders the ability of the Loans Board to support more students.
Chingaipe gave an example that the Loans Board requires more resources to caution against the increase in tuition fees that some public universities have announced.
“So, non-repayment of loans will jeopardize the prospects of those who are yet to receive educational assistance that is why I would like to speak to all former loan beneficiaries who have not settled their loans,” he said.
According to Chingaipe, every repaid loan paves the way for another student’s dreams to take flight, continuing the cycle of growth and progress.
Prince Phwetekere who is Board ExecutiveDirector, in his speech, described the campaign, crucial.
Phwetekere said the campaign in which the Higher Education Students’ Loans and Grants Board and former loan beneficiaries seek to collaborate to build a stronger and more prosperous future by ensuring that former loan beneficiaries pay back their loans.
The executive director said the Loans Board was established to ensure that deserving needy students have access to tertiary education, regardless of their financial backgrounds, through the provision of mainly tuition and upkeep loans.
These loans are designed to cover the cost of tuition fees, accommodation, books, and other essential expenses related to higher education.
The Loans Board, according to Phwetekere, aims to reduce the financial burden on students and their families, making education more affordable and accessible.
In addition to student loans, the Loans Board also manages grants for high-achieving needy students.
“These grants are merit-based in specific fields of study to encourage students to pursue careers in critical sectors.
The Loans Board not only disburses loans but also actively implements mechanisms for loan repayment,” he said.
The ED said one of the mechanisms that the Loans Board intends to implement is value maintenance, especially for old loans, by safeguarding the purchasing power.
In conclusion, Phwetekere has since appealed to all those who benefitted from these loans to come forward for repayment.