Local NUGS President of Simon Diedong Dombo University of Business and Integrated Development Studies (SDD-UBIDS), Mr. Sayibu Hamdaway through His Communication Team has released a Statement Questioning the viability of Students Loan Trust Fund after it failed to disburse loans to qualified Students in the Various Universities.
STUDENT LOAN TRUST FUND IS NOT SERVING ITS PURPOSE
Students Loan Trust Fund was established in 2005 and operates under the student loan trust fund act 820 of 2011. The main purpose of the student fund is to alleviate the financial difficulties of students in the tertiary institutions and its mission is to provide Timely financial support to students, however everything seems not to be going on well as the policy spells out.
It is not surprising to see a rising number of students on the students loan trust fund, this current government have made a good move to make senior high school education free to all Ghanian students, due to this, there is an increment in the number of students being enrolled into the various tertiary institutions in Ghana every year, most of the students who have join these tertiary institutions are financially handicapped, most of the students pay their school fees and accommodation on their own with little or no support from parents or guardians, however due to the rising cost of education, it has made it increasingly difficult for students to finance their higher education.
In Ghana, the cost of tuition, accommodation, and other expenses associated with higher education have continued to soar, making it almost impossible for students from low-income families to afford their education.
Last year through parliament of Ghana, GTEC approved 15% increment on school fees of which it will contribute in pulling down a huge number of students in the tertiary schools and also lead to most of them deferring their programs for next academic year, who knows whether that will be their final stage of academic advancement or they will still proceed the following academic year.
Due to this many students have turned to student loans as a means of financing their education as a matter of fact is a last resort to students in this dilemma.
Unfortunately, students loan trust fund has failed to honored its mandate to the entire Ghanaian students, last year less than 50% of the students who applied from our institution received their first disbursement, currently as it stands now, we don’t even know when the second disbursement is going to be made, majority of our students have to hang their faith to God and yet another academic year have started with new application currently ongoing.
The CEO of student loan trust fund Mr. Nana Kwaku Agyei Yeboah made a statement that over 70,000 students will be benefiting from student loan trust fund in 2022/2023 academic year but yet not even those who applied for the loan last academic year have not been able to receive their full disbursement, are students now play boys if we may ask and more to the point if the loan is to come but comes at the time a student no longer need the money what will be the essence of it.
On 20th February 2023 management of SDD UBIDS release a circular stating that students who do not register after 7th march, 2023 will have to be considered as differed their program of study for the 2022/2023 academic year, that means beneficiaries of the trust fund is going to differ their programs or providing timely financial support to students is no longer the mission of SLTF to the Ghanaian students?
Our question goes to the government what was the main purpose of rolling out no guarantor system if there were no funds to support this initiative and also to the 13-member board of trustee, please what are you doing about these stated problems and when is it going to be resolved?
We therefore call on the President of the republic of Ghana, National NUGS secretariat, board of trustees and all stakeholders to give this immediate attention and do the needful before is too late.
This is now a burden on the entire Ghanaian tertiary students and we the UBIDS NUGS are ever ready to liaise with other local NUGS secretariat to display our displeasure, we are sick and tired of flimsy excuses from the management of student loan trust fund. Our next line of action will be communicated if the needful is not done.
ISSUED BY EVANS