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Jubilation turns into despair



MASERU – FROM jubilation to despair.
That vividly captures the gamut of emotions Kopano Maime’s family went through over the past three months.
The family was happy about three months ago when their daughter received an admission letter from Limkokwing University of Creative Technology.
Maime says he did not know what his daughter was going to study but he was satisfied that she had landed a place at the university.

As is always the case with Basotho youths who get admitted to institutions of higher learning, forms were filled at the National Manpower Development Secretariat (NMDS) for a scholarship.
But alas! The Maime daughter and thousands others will not be sponsored because there is no enough money.
Their celebrations proved to be premature.
“We celebrated as a family when we heard that she had been admitted but later were disappointed that my daughter will not get any scholarship from the government,” Maime told thepost not Tuesday.
Maime said he depends on odd jobs and he concluded that there is no way that he was going to afford to pay for her daughter’s fees.

He said he had sleepless nights from the day he heard the bad news.
“I do not earn enough to afford the fees,” he said.
Maime said it has always been his wish to see his children live a different life to his.
He said when he was 21 in 1971 he chose to go to the mines instead of school.
“That was because I thought school was not important,” he said.
Maime was one of many parents who attended a meeting organized by Limkokwing to tell them that they were decreasing the fees by 30 percent.

One would expect that Maime and other parents would be happy with the announcement but their greatest worry is that they cannot afford the fees despite the discount.
They had pinned their hopes on the NMDS for their children’s tuition fees.
They heard that the NMDS is unable to pay for more students because the government is broke.
They heard at the meeting that local commercial banks were willing to offer loans for the students’ education.
However, Maime said he was yet to meet with his family to discuss how they would meet the conditions of the loans.
He said he did not think his family can afford to have a loan from a bank.

The Limkokwing University’s Entrepreneurship Acceleration Platform (LEAP) Manager, Lebesa Nkune, said the university saw it fit to help the parents by paying 30 percent of the fee.
He said if a fee for a student is M25 000, the school will pay M7 500 leaving the parent to pay the remaining M17 500.
Nkune said however, there are terms and conditions for that discount.
He said they will only offer discount to students who are not sponsored by the NMDS or anyone.
“Discount will also be applied on fees that are paid in full not in instalments,” he said.
Nkune said there are parents who pay in instalments until their children complete school so they will not be given this discount.

Nkune said they have talked to different banks about giving parents loans.
He said however, the school is not going to apply for the loans on behalf of the parents.
Nkune said the parents will have to meet the bank and discuss the terms and conditions of the loan to see whether he qualifies for it or not.
On behalf of the Lesotho Post Bank, ’Matumiso Moseme said parents who have investments at the bank are free to cancel that and pay for their children’s fee with that money.
Moseme said if the investment money is little and the parent still works, he is free to ask for more money on top of that investment to pay for their child.

’Makhotso Rakotsoane



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