NMDS in­tro­duces on­line regis­tra­tion

Lesotho Times - - News - Nthatuoa Koeshe

THE Na­tional Man­power De­vel­op­ment Sec­re­tariat (NMDS) has in­tro­duced an on­line regis­tra­tion for stu­dents who as­pire to get spon­sor­ship for their ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tion by the or­gan­i­sa­tion for the 2018/19 aca­demic year.

NMDS, is a depart­ment in the Min­istry of De­vel­op­ment Plan­ning tasked with over­see­ing the loan bur­sary fund.

The on­line plat­form will en­able stu­dents to reg­is­ter onto the Stu­dent Spon­sor­ship, Man­age­ment and Ad­min­is­tra­tion Sys­tem (SSMAS) with­out hav­ing to phys­i­cally queue for ser­vices.

Speak­ing at the Le­sotho Loan Bur­sary Fund (LBF) Re­form Re­port val­i­da­tion work­shop this week, the Min­is­ter of En­ergy, Mokoto Hloaele, said the new in­no­va­tion was an in­te­gral part of the LBF re­form.

Mr Hloaele spoke on be­half of the Min­is­ter of De­vel­op­ment Plan­ning at the work­shop.

“The most ap­peal­ing rea­son for the in­tro­duc­tion of SSMAS is to re­duce con­tact of stu­dents with NMDS staff, Mr Hloaele said.

“This means stu­dents can make their spon­sor­ship pro­cesses on­line and should not nec­es­sar­ily have to in­ter­act with staff.”

He how­ever said the ap­pli­ca­tions for schol­ar­ships would only be made when such a schol­ar­ship was ad­ver­tised at NMDS and through the SSMAS and the NMDS Face­book page, Na­tional Man­power De­vel­op­ment Sec­re­tariat.

He fur­ther noted that SSMAS tar­gets to chal­lenges which in­clude poor in­for­ma­tion man­age­ment and lim­ited in­for­ma­tion shar­ing be­tween NMDS, the clients and stake­hold­ers

“This new im­proved sys­tem will also ad­dress the chal­lenge of lengthy pro­cess­ing of pay­ments to in­sti­tu­tions and clients, in­abil­ity to re­cover loans and to track de­fault­ers.

“It will help us to ac­cu­rately ac­count for the mil­lions of ma­luti dis­bursed to Ba­sotho stu­dents which has re­sulted in the un-sus­tain­abil­ity of the loan bur­sary fund, and the in­ef­fi­cient work pro­cesses,” Mr Hloaele said.

He said this SSMAS there­fore needs to be in­ter­faced with all the LBF stake­hold­ers in or­der to fully achieve its in­tended purpose.

The fund is in­tended to re­volve and the ex­pec­ta­tion was that each learner who got as­sis­tance would pay back af­ter com­ple­tion of stud­ies when they se­cure em­ploy­ment as per their con­trac­tual obli­ga­tions but this has not hap­pened.

In 2012, the gov­ern­ment en­gaged Ja­mali Hold­ings to col­lect the debt which runs into mil­lions from de­fault­ers but the con­tract has since been can­celled af­ter the debt col­lec­tors failed to meet the set tar­gets.

NMDS Di­rec­tor, Flory Rakeketsi, told the Le­sotho

Times that the con­sul­tancy con­tract was ter­mi­nated early in 2015 af­ter the con­sul­tant “dis­mally” failed to re­cover the debts from ben­e­fi­cia­ries work­ing out­side the coun­try.

Ms Rakeketsi also ap­pealed to the NMDS ben­e­fi­cia­ries to re­pay the loans, say­ing the re­pay­ments would make a huge dif­fer­ence and en­sure that the gov­ern­ment spends less on fund­ing ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tion.

“As we speak now, there is no one help­ing us with the re­cov­ery of the loans. It means all Ba­sotho work­ing out­side the coun­try are not re­pay­ing their loans as they should and we do not have the means to chase them.

“I be­lieve the gov­ern­ment will visit this mat­ter and come up with op­tions on how to move on from here. Most of the ben­e­fi­cia­ries only start re­pay­ing the money when they want to fur­ther their stud­ies,” she said.

In the past, stu­dents have protested over de­lays in the pro­cess­ing of pay­ments.

“This aca­demic year, the strikes started at the Na­tional Univer­sity of Le­sotho (NUL) forc­ing the in­sti­tute’s Se­nate to sus­pend classes and call for a meet­ing with par­ents sched­uled for Satur­day,” Ms Rakeketsi said.

Lerotholi Polytech­nic (Fokothi) stu­dents fol­lowed suit re­sult­ing in the ar­rest of two stu­dents for van­dal­ism of prop­erty while two oth­ers were hos­pi­talised. Limkok­wing School of Cre­ative Tech­nol­ogy joined the party putting more pres­sure on the Na­tional Man­power De­vel­op­ment Sec­re­tariat (NMDS).

MIN­IS­TER of En­ergy Mokoto Hloaele.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Lesotho

© PressReader. All rights reserved.