- Students banking on an extension to apply for the National Student Aid Fund are in for a disappointment
- Minister Blade Nzimande has announced that applications for the fund will not be reopening
- The Higher Education Minister says that students have had ample time to apply
Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande has announced that National Student Aid Fund applications will not be reopening.
Speaking to the media on Monday, Nzimande made his opinions on a possible extension abundantly clear, saying that students had ample time to apply before the deadline.
This year the fund has received over 750 000 applications, a fair few more than the 185 000 recorded previously.
Nzimande pointed out that the extension has been passed over in favour of screening those who had applied:
"We gave four months last year, four months, for those who want to apply to apply. We are now focusing on screening for purposes of allocating those who are successful. We cannot unfortunately be able to reopen."
The Minister announced that the fund will again provide beneficiaries with laptops and data to assist them in studying virtually amid the current Covid-19 pandemic.
The Department is in discussions, according to Nzimande, with telecoms service providers.
This is in an attempt to reduce the long term cost of data with online learning fast becoming a critical component of the nation's education system:
"Currently NSFAS is engaging with the service providers that have been allocated to develop implementation process, including specifications on order turn around times and delivery."
Earlier, Briefly.co.za reported that Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has confirmed that the reopening of schools has been postponed.
In a media briefing on Friday morning, the Minister announced that the date has been postponed to February 15.
Commenting on the decision Deputy Basic Education Minister Reginah Mhaule explained that:
“Given the pressure experienced by the health system in the past few weeks, occasioned by increased Covid-19 infections which has led to the second wave, the council of education ministers in conjunction with the national coronavirus command council and cabinet has taken the decision to delay the reopening of both public and private schools by two weeks."
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