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Students petition NMDS

by Lesotho Times
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MASERU — Students at Lerotholi Polytechnic on Monday petitioned the National Manpower Development Secretariat (NMDS) to speed up the processing of their loans.
The president of the Students’ Representative Council, Lesoma Leboneng, said the NMDS was still to process their allowances.
The students said they were supposed to get M8 000 each for the first semester that began in August.
But two months after the new semester began students say they are still to be paid their allowances.
Students studying at Lerotholi get M14 000 per year in addition to the M7 000 that they get for tuition fees.
“We have not yet received our allowances since August when we opened until now,” Leboneng said.
He said the failure by the NMDS to process their allowances was causing immense hardships for students studying at the polytechnic.
“We cannot perform well in our tests because we wrote the first assessment tests when Manpower had not given us book allowances,” he said.
Leboneng said students had until now not received book and room allowances from the NMDS.
The NMDS had over the years failed to disburse students’ allowances timeously triggering protests at the campus in Maseru.
“We have not yet received our book allowances, food allowances and room allowances.
“Tuition fee is not yet paid,” Leboneng said.
He said the delay was negatively affecting their performance in class.
“We always get allowances after we have written assessment tests.
This makes us suffer a lot because we go to classes without food and books,” he said.
The bursary administrator at Lerotholi Polytechnic, Florina Rakeketsi, confirmed that students were still to receive their payouts.
Rakeketsi said the institution was working flat out to ensure that students get their allowances.
“We are very sorry for the inconvenience caused by the NMDS. We are preparing to give the students their allowances,” Rakeketsi said.
The accountant at Manpower, ’Masuthang Pitso, said students will get their allowances before the end of this week.
“You should check with our accounts department on Wednesday or Thursday,” she said.

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