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Government Is Positioning Student Loan Trust Fund – Prof. Kwesi Yankah.

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Professor Kwesi Yankah, the former Minister of State for Tertiary Education has addressed the proposition legislation of Mahama Ayariga to suspend the payment of academic fees in tertiary institutions such as universities throughout the country for the 2020/21 academic year.

As claimed by the former Minister of State, the NPP-led government has begun putting measures in place to address the inability of parents to pay academic fees for their wards in the tertiary institutions. In his opinion, the government  “anticipated all this, and is positioning the Student Loan Trust Fund to accommodate as many students as need the loan. Added to this is the No Guarantor policy which has been newly introduced and is meant to remove lingering administrative barriers in accessing the facility.”

He further went on to say, “This is not to talk of new opportunities the Scholarship Secretariat is providing for large scale funding of tertiary education, for which interviews are currently ongoing across the country and at district levels. These emerging policies are driven by the Government’s awareness of the socio-economic fallouts of a Free SHS policy that saves the poor at pre-tertiary levels, and could leave them to their fate at the tertiary stage.

Remember the tertiary level is where the student’s potential contribution to national development would be at its optimum, and it is the agenda of this government to erase artificial barriers, that could adversely affect the quality of Ghana’s human resource base. Government’s agenda for funding tertiary education goes beyond COVID-19 and other emergencies and provides a more lasting blueprint for human resource development”.

 

Read his statement below:

So my good friend Mahama Ayariga is in the news, proposing a legislation that will suspend academic facility fee payment in tertiary education institutions for the 2020/21 academic year? And the reason is COVID-19 and all the misery it has visited on parents here and elsewhere. Sounds like coming from a caring father and a humane party to which he belongs, NDC.

Let’s even assume this is a swift intervention mercifully invoked to save the poor student in dire need. Should it be coming at a time most tertiary institutions have reopened, and classes are about started? A time universities are operationalizing budgets, and may have to bear the burden if Government is unable to pick the bill? Most universities are currently in dire financial straits and consider the facility fee as the sole internally generated revenue source.

Let the Parliament accept this Ayariga proposed legislation, and for lack of funding, most institutions may have to fold up, and suspend academic work, derailing further an already battered academic year. Fortunately, many parents are managing somehow to pay the user fee; many cannot afford it, yet know the value of making an extra effort to ensure that the upward mobility of the free SHS graduate is not prematurely arrested. Others can easily afford the facility fees, and cannot complain.But the Government anticipated all this, and is positioning the Student Loan Trust Fund to accommodate as many students as need the loan.

Added to this is the No Guarantor policy which has been newly introduced and is meant to remove lingering administrative barriers in accessing the facility.This is not to talk of new opportunities the Scholarship Secretariat is providing for large scale funding of tertiary education, for which interviews are currently ongoing across the country and at district levels.

These emerging policies are driven by Government’s awareness of the socio-economic fallouts of a Free SHS policy that saves the poor at pre-tertiary levels, and could leave them to their fate at the tertiary stage. Remember the tertiary level is where the student’s potential contribution to national development would be at its optimum, and it is the agenda of this government to erase artificial barriers, that could adversely affect the quality of Ghana’s human resource base.

Government’s agenda for funding tertiary education goes beyond COVID 19 and other emergencies and provides a more lasting blueprint for human resource development. Meanwhile, let student leaders engage respective universities and arrange installment payment for needy students. Continued student-management negotiations would be the way out, even as the NPP Government finalizes emerging pro-poor policies, to widen access to tertiary education.

Prof Kwesi Yankah (Former Minister of State for Tertiary Education)

source: MyNewsGh.com