Non-loanees now can smile this is after the Higher Education Loans Board (Helb) on Thursday, July 16, announced that it had waived the Ksh1,000 certificate acquisition fee which they had been paying for them to be cleared and get the certificate .
The board actually resorted to this move after they engaged many stakeholders and they came to find out that many respondents terned the fee as punitive. This is according to the letter which was signed by Charles Ringera.
“HELB has been issuing compliance certificates to non-beneficiaries of student loans at a fee of Kshs. 1,000 to defray the cost of the certificate and other administrative expenses.
“However, during various stakeholder engagements where HELB seeks feedback on Citizen Service Delivery, it has repeatedly come to our attention that the charges for non-loanee compliance certificate are perceived to be punitive, especially to the many unemployed youth who did not benefit from the student loans,” read the notice in part.
Some of the stakeholders raised issues such as unemployment and under-employment challenges, low economic growth and escalated cost of living as well as retrenchment and downsizing affecting all sectors which have been exacerbated by the Covid-19 Pandemic.
“Given the foregoing issues raised by Kenyans, HELB has stopped charging Kshs. 1,000 for issuance of the Compliance Certificate with effect from July 15, 2020.
“The HELB Compliance Certificates will now be free of charge and can be accessed from the HELB Website as well as the E-Citizen Portal,” continued the statement.
This will now motivate the kenyan youth to go and seek their HELB compliance certificates which are required when seeking job employment opportunities. At the same time its aimed at creating goodwill and promoting HELB products among the Kenyans as they seek their compliance certificates.
Since its establishment in 1995, HELB has been charging all individuals who never benefited from its funding a fee of Ksh1,000 in order to obtain the clearance certificate.
HELB is a body mandated to provide loans, bursaries and scholarships to Kenyans pursuing higher education in recognized Kenyan Universities and Colleges and to recover the same after completion of studies to facilitate establishment of a revolving fund.
The body has in the past engaged in a tussle with its beneficiaries after accusing them of failure to repay back the loans in time. In 2019, the institution had threatened to publish faces of defaulters in daily newspapers, a move that had been welcomed by a majority of the defaulters.