Dar es Salaam. The Higher Education Student Loans Board (HESLB) will spend a total of Sh570 billion in the new financial year (2021/22) instead of the Sh500 billion previously announced. The money will benefit at least 160,000 loan applicants, it was revealed yesterday.
Recently, the government had announced an increase in the loan funds from Sh464 billion in the 2020/21 financial year to Sh500 billion for the 2021/22 financial year.
However, launching the new loans application guide for 2021/22 and the loan application window – an event held in Dar es Salaam yesterday – the minister for Education, Science and Technology, Prof Joyce Ndalichako, revealed that President Samia Suluhu Hassan had added Sh70 billion to the Sh500 billion initially intended.
This, according to Prof Ndalichako, was to cater for an increase of more than 10,000 students this year. The new figure breaks HESLB’s 16-year record in total loans size as the government seeks to boost the number of loans beneficiaries in the country.
She said 62,000 out of the 160,000 students are first-year students, while the remaining 98,000 students are continuing with their university education.
“Let me reveal a secret. Until last month, the loans budget for 2021/2022 had grown to Sh500 billion. But, in her first 100 days in the Presidency, ‘Mama Samia’ added Sh70 billion to the till, boosting the loans amount to be Sh570 billion – equivalent to a total increase of Sh106 billion, or 22.8 percent,” she said.
The increase confirms the intention of the sixth-phase government of President Hassan to enable more young Tanzanians to access loans, study well to serve the country and fulfil their dreams, she said.
Prof Ndalichako urged loan applicants to read the instructions carefully and fill out the forms correctly so as to be in a good position to get loans.
In 2020/2021, the government loaned Sh464 billion to 149,398 students – 55,287 of them first-year students, while 94,111 were to continue with their studies.
In another development, Prof Ndalichako urged HESLB to continue to provide education to applicants so that they fully understand the requirements and procedures for obtaining education loans as well as continue to work with various stakeholders in helping many young people to be able to access the loans.
In a quick rejoinder, the HESLB executive director, Mr Abdul-Razaq Badru, said they were ready to work on the directives – and that, from July 12 this year, HESLB officials will start running loan application programmes correctly at <#WeweNdoFuture> (You are the Future) across the country.
“We are finalising the process with the leadership of the National Service (JKT) so that we can be able to reach all the youth who are present in the 19 camps of JKT. From July 12 we will also run these programmes through television, radio, social media and meetings with stakeholders,” said Badru.
Regarding the procedure and timing of the application, Mr Badru said the loan application guide was available at the board’s website (<www.heslb.go.tz>) from yesterday, Friday, July 2, 2021.
“The guide is on the website from today (yesterday) and we advise applicants to read it before applying. In addition, the application process will be officially opened for 53 days from July 9 to August 31, 2021,” said Mr Badru.