Thursday, June 20, 2024

Graduates -Modern y Slaves To HELSB

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Education financial support, more especially one from the government is supposed to be a ticket out of poverty. But unfortunately that’s not the case with GRZ bursary. The draconian monthly deductions are a nightmare for graduates. In some instances, monthly deductions are more than 50% of someones basic salary. This is clear financial bondage, tantamount to modern day slavery. It’s a blatant betrayal of the economic freedom our forefathers fought for.

As graduates, we know we signed up for a loan and we have to pay it back since it’s a revolving scheme so that others can also benefit from it but what we are only asking for is breathing space with the rising cost of living, so that we can be able to easily afford mealie meal, pay rentals and support our parents and other relatives since most of us are bread winners.

The monthly deductions should be percentage based so that low income earners are not disadvantaged. Every government tax or deduction is percentage based, why isn’t the HELSB student loan also the same? It doesn’t make sense that someone who is getting a K3, 771 as basic salary is being deducted K1, 716.61, the same amount as someone who is getting K30, 000. Mind you, this person is also making NAPSA and Civil Service Union contributions, paying personal levy, value added tax and National Health Insurance. How can someone survive like this?

I wonder how the HELSB committee, the 2 permanent secretaries and the minister at the ministry of Education, the entire cabinet and the president manage to sleep peacefully at night knowing fully that there’s someone out there who is being deducted more than 50% of their small basic salary. Kindly have a heart and hear the cries of graduates who are called the cream of the nation.

There are over 70, 000 graduates who are reminded every month that promises which were made during campaigns to reduce monthly deductions have not been fulfilled. Some of these people are heads of big organisations or departments. They have families and friends and have influence both on the media and respective localities. Meaning that their influence can change the complexion of the 2026 general elections.

We have engaged the HELSB and Ministry of Education before and have submitted concept notes. 3 months ago, we had a meeting with State House, but we have not received any conclusive feedback since then. We may have a meeting somewhere after 2 weeks God willing, but we can only hope and pray for positive results because these monthly deductions are killing us!

You may not be affected directly, but you may have a brother, sister, children, relative or spouse who may either be affected now or later in the future. Therefore, this fight is yours just as much as it is ours!

Monthly Loan Deductions Must Fall.
Aluta continua!

David Chishimba
HELSB-RCC Coordinator

5 COMMENTS

  1. The young people need to be heard. Scrapping the loans is not the solution. However, repayments ought to be humane

  2. Repayment should be percentage based. All govts in US and Europe give student loans, but they deduct a minimum percentage. Then they encourage students to pay extra back in in five years by chosing to pay more than the minimum to get a 5% deduction if complete in five years. (They give incentive)

  3. Iwe some tax payer is paying that education that you demand should be for free.
    Those that deserve exemption are those on scholarship and a small niche for that matter who have earned it on account of merit.
    Folks think that government owes them a living. That mentiality breeds entitlement. And what entitles you? Its a favour government is doing you. Just learn to pay back, the same resource will he used to educate others behind you. Abash free loading….and entitlement…work be productive and lets learn that money is a resources that we all deserve even those that did go to the expensive universities that you want to clammer to and feel its a status.

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