Tanzania releases over $27m in education loans as colleges set to reopen

Tanzania's President elect John Pombe Magufuli addresses members of the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi Party (CCM) at the party's sub-head office on Lumumba road in Dar es Salaam, October 30, 2015. REUTERS/Emmanuel Herman
Tanzania’s President John Pombe Magufuli. Image courtesy: Reuters/Emmanuel Herman

Tanzania’s Higher Education Students’ Loans Board (HESLB) announced on Thursday it has released education loans to the tune of 63.7 billion Tanzanian shillings (about 27.5 million U.S. dollars) following President John Magufuli’s announcement that universities will reopen on June 1.

A statement by HESLB said the released amount will be loaned to students for meals and accommodation for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Earlier on Thursday, President John Magufuli announced the reopening of universities on June 1 after what he described as a drop in COVID-19 infection cases.

Magufuli ordered the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Finance and Planning to make preparations for the reopening of the universities, including the release of education loans.

HESLB said in the statement that the loans will be availed to beneficiaries in respective universities by May 28.

Meanwhile, said the statement, HESLB was in final touches of releasing education loans of 59.1 billion Tanzanian shillings for students in 70 higher education institutions in the country.

During the 2019-2020 academic year, the government will release higher education loans to the tune of 450 billion shillings to 132,119 students in universities, said the statement.

Prime minister Kassim Majaliwa announced the shutdown of universities on March 18 following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the east African nation.