Letter to the Editor

University scholarship loan recovery should target working class

Dear editor,
THE Government of the Republic of Zambia through the Ministry of Higher Education has embarked on the university scholarship loan recovery programme.
The programme is aimed at recovering loans from former students of the University of Zambia, Copperbelt University, Kapasa Makasa University among others.
The targeted former students benefitted from the loan scheme of the government which started in 2004 and it is projected that K3 million will be recovered every month from the beneficiaries of the loan scheme.
The initiative is good but, the emphasis should be on those who are currently working.
This is because they have the capacity to pay back the scholarship loans they obtained.
Due to limited employment opportunities in our country, the majority of these beneficiaries are not working and it is not easy to pay back the loans.
Even those who are working get little salaries which cannot sustain their basic needs of life like clothes, food and shelter.
Given this sad state of affair, how do you expect the loan beneficiaries to pay back? Simply put, it will be very difficult to pay back the loans.
It is good that the government will recover the loans from the former university students through National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA), Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) and Public Service Management Division (PSMD).
These are some of the employers of the former beneficiaries of the scholarship loans.
This does not mean that those who are currently not working should not pay back the loans.
If anything, they should also be made to pay once they start working either in the public or private sector.
Better still, the beneficiaries should volunteer to pay back the loan.
Over and above everything else, the government should create many employment opportunities and ultimately employ these graduates who owe the government huge sums of money in unpaid loans.

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