University students could receive a maximum of Sh100,000 and a minimum of Sh50,000 from HELB if amendments proposed by student leaders go through, Magazine Reel has learned.
A six-member committee, representing both public and private universities, student leaders want the National Assembly to amend the bill to put into account the economic changes the country has undergone since the establishment of the HELB Act in 1995.
The committee is chaired by Felix Lone, former KUSA President while Moi University’s Justin Safari serves as the secretary.
In their submissions, students argue that the money they receive is too little against the current needs. They are also proposing a 2 percent interest rate on the loan instead of 4 percent that the leading financier of higher education currently charges.
Safari says they also want HELB to start penalizing loan beneficiaries after two years and not the current twelve months.
“We want HELB to give graduates ample time to hustle before they start paying the loan,” he told Capital Campus.
If these proposals go through, he added, total orphans would receive full amount of Sh100,000 and the minimum a student would receive is Sh50,000.
In other news the Higher Education Loans Board (Helb) is owed Sh8 billion by students who have benefited from the loans issued by the board in the past. HELB Chief Executive Office, Charles Ringera told the Sunday Nation the Board needs to disburse Sh6.7 billion to 188,000 students in universities and tertiary institutions in the next four months.
10,000 freshers are depending on the Board to release funds while 44,000 continuing students are hoping to get tuition fee from Helb. Ringera says Sh1.5B has been disbursed so far.
Ringera, by the virtue of his post, has been on the spotlight over the last few months as students in different universities and colleges protest the delay in the disbursement of the loans.
Helb has moved to recover the loans from beneficiaries by working with several institutions including KRA, Kenya Federation of Employers and NSSF to track down defaulters.