Dar es Salaam. The Higher Education Students Loans Board (Heslb) has allocated a total of Sh450 billion to finance students for the 2019/20 academic year.
The amount will cater for 128,285 students, of which 45,000, are prospective first year students for this academic year, while the remaining 83,285 are those who are continuing.
This was said by the Heslb director general, Mr Abdul-Razaq Badru, yesterday when announcing the first batch of students who have qualified for this year’s government funding. This is an increase of five per cent when compared with Sh428 billion released during the previous academic year.
Mr Bardu said a total of 45,000 first year students applied for the government funding this year, higher than 41,285 applied for the last academic year.
Out of the number of the students who applied, only 30,675 were successful and they will be disbursed with Sh125 billion.
According to Mr Bardu, the second batch will be announced later after verification and analysis of applications from students who applied late and those who needed to make corrections on their online applications. The government has already released the funds and will be directed to respective universities upon their opening.
Director of loans at Heslb Veronica Nyahende said the board has extended time for 16,000 students who made errors when applying to correct them.
“Apart from public education on how to apply, there are some challenges which are emerging like failure to attach certificates. However, we extended the application time from September 30 to October 19,” he said.
On students with special needs, Mr Bardu said 6,142 orphans or those who have lost one parent, 280 with disabilities and 277 who are enrolled on Tanzania Social Action Fund (Tasaf) programme have already qualified for the funding. “In special groups, we have also 1,980, who are six per cent of the first batch, who studied in private schools, but due to their economic incapabilities, they have qualified for Heslb funding after presenting genuine documents,” he said.
“The aim of the government to issue loans to students is to enable them to study so that they serve the country, but they must remember to repay these loans.”