We won’t campaign for Swapo- Nanso President
Nanso president, Esther Simon has stamped that the student body will not be used to campaign for the ruling party in this year’s elections.
Speaking to the media at their first press conference, Simon added that Nanso remained a non-political entity that will not be used to fight proxy battles by either political figure-heads or university owners.
She indicated that they had picked out that some in the student body, which turns 35 years old this year in July, had “stepped on the wrong side” and were being used by powerful individuals in order to scoop in on study benefits.
This stance has resulted in the organization being exposed to a “well-coordinated campaign to discredit” its leadership “such as fabricating corruption charges”, Simon also said.
“We want to inform our members, structures and society that again this year we remain firm on our principle that Nanso is not for sale,” she stamped.
She added that they were aware that resources had been gathered this year to destroy their membership in the national executive committee who are standing firm.
Pressed by this publication on whether this will not see the organization ruffling feathers with the ruling party and compromising future funding, Simon said if Swapo as an organization had such a mind, funds could have been cut a long time ago.
“Nanso as an organization is apolitical. We are not supporting Swapo, we are not supporting DTA or any political party. We advocate for the students and that’s really our mandate. It requires a strong individual with principles. This organization has been through its lowest and highest moments and there is nothing that we are going to compromise,” said Simon.
Meanwhile Nanso has expressed itself on the latest 2018 matric pass rate which it said was a reflection of inequalities within schools along class and racial lines.
Said Simon, “The 2018 matric results also reveal regional inequality in terms of performance, as most central or urbanized schools have better access to resources and infrastructure. This is evident in the fact that schools in Khomas, Otjozondjupa, Oshikoto and Erongo regions, as a result of access to higher level subjects and experienced teachers, have quality results as compared to rural schools that are under-resourced.”
Simon has also indicated that her organization will be spearheading the “Access campaign” which will see them calling for the total abolishing of registration fees which she said were unsustainably high as well as free quality education.
Although state universities are not properly funded and would need to utilize such fees for administration expenses, Simon said they were convinced that a reduction in registration fees would still not see them being affordable for the poor.
Meanwhile Simon called for vocational centres to be more fashionable and open to students as well as for the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) to pay student fees by end of this month.
Nanso also wants the minister of higher education to include one from the organisation’s number into the NSFAF board of directors.