Saturday, April 20, 2024

HELSB increases students loan access to 24 348 in 2022 from 17 444 in 2021

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Minister of Education, Douglas Siakalima, has reiterated the government’s commitment to enhancing access to quality education at higher education levels through the provision of loans and scholarships.

Mr Siakalima says this is in order to ensure quality livelihoods for people in the country. He says the Higher Education Loans and Scholarships Board (HELSB) is ready to provide higher education financing to young people who need access to student loans and scholarships.

The Minister said this in a speech delivered on his behalf by Ministry of Education Permanent Secretary, Joel Kamoko, at the launch of the Higher Education Loans and Scholarship Board (HELSB) 2022-2026 strategic plan in Lusaka today.

Mr Siakalima disclosed that the number of public universities supported through HELSB has increased from two to seven while the number of students accessing student loans in the seven public universities has increased to 24,348 in 2022 from 17,444 in 2021.

He also announced that the student loan recoveries have increased from K8 million in 2018 to K320 million in February 2023.

He has since commended HELSB management for its effort to ensure the smooth running of the board.

Mr Siakalima said it is the desire of government to see pupils complete grade 12 through the free education policy and proceed to universities and colleges with support from the higher education student loans and scholarships.

“The strategic plan launch you are witnessing today will provide five year guidance on how this will be achieved. Access to quality and lifelong training especially one that prepares its citizens needs to be anchored on well thought out plans,” he said.

Speaking at the same function, HESLB Acting Chief Executive Officer, Floyd Ndabulula, said the strategic plan has been aligned to the various national priorities, including the vision 2030 in order to achieve the 8th National Development Plan.

Mr Ndabulula said the development process of the plan was marked by extensive consultations beyond the higher education sector to ensure that the set out deliverables are responsive and have life changing impact on the majority of Zambians.

“The strategies are deliberately biased towards the core business emphasising realisation of excellence in administration of loans and scholarships, loan recoveries, investments and resource mobilisation,” he said.

He has since assured that the management of HELSB will see to it that the strategic plan provides the much needed guidance to the Higher Education Loans and Scholarships Board.

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