Loans board visits, trains upcountry high schools

15Apr 2019
The Guardian
Loans board visits, trains upcountry high schools

TRAINING on proper loan application procedures and criteria has started being conducted by the Higher Education Students' Loans Board (HESLB) to Advanced Level secondary school students in upcountry regions.

Higher Education Students' Loans Board (HESLB)

 HESLB Executive Director Razaq Badru says that the training drive will reduce the many challenges Form Six leavers were experiencing when applying for loans for admission into higher learning institutions.

Badru was speaking on Saturday at a training session which brought together 1,166 Form Six students from 12 secondary schools in Simiyu region. He said similar a training session was earlier conducted for students in Dar es Salaam based schools.

Simiyu regional authorities have organized a camp for Form Six students at Maswa Girls secondary school as they prepare to sit for national examinations next month.

“Our officers will from today visit each school in Simiyu region to educate students on how to apply for loans as well as inform them on the required criteria,” the director said, noting that the program is a result of stakeholders’ views.

He told the students that apart from the loan criteria, they should know the required qualifications, relevant documents and how to send their applications online.

He said in the 2018/2019 academic year, a total of 9,000 students missed the l loans due to incompleteness of their forms and lack of guarantors’ ID cards. Some of the submitted applications lacked important forms which were to be signed by local government officials, he stated.

Maswa District Commissioner, Dr Seif Shekalaghe, representing the RC, commended HESLB for working on the challenges that students were facing when applying for loans.

Dr Shekalaghe added: “This will help students to apply properly. Many of them from poor families had previously missed the opportunity to go for higher education simply because they were not familiar with application procedures and required documents.”

In his report last week, the Controller and Auditor General (CAG) said the loans board has a loan balance of 1.46trn/- from untraceable defaulters.

The loan balance may limits the board's financial ability to provide more loans to new and continuing students. The amount is significant considering the guidance provided by Sect. 4(h)-(g) of the board Act which requires the board to establish networking and cooperation links with institutions and organizations so as to identify loan beneficiaries and facilitate recovery of granted loans, the report intoned.

"I recommend that the board engage other institutions and any other available sources of information to strengthen its database to be able to identify the yet untraced beneficiaries," the CAG, Prof Mussa Assad said in the report.

The HESLB Executive Director said in January that the board had managed to collect 94.01bn/- from loan beneficiaries from January to December last year, surpassing the target of collecting 71.4bn/- in a six month period.

He said the 94.01bn/- collection is equivalent to an 8.7 per cent increase from 85.88bn/- collected in the corresponding period in 2017. HESLB had a target of recovering 150bn/- from beneficiaries in the 2018/19 financial year, he stated.

The number of beneficiaries who are repaying their loans had now reached 198,659 employees, the director had affirmed.




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