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Opinions of Tuesday, 25 August 2020

Columnist: Adjei Boakye

Scrapping mandatory guarantor system for student loan

I nearly fell from my sickbed, heartbeat accelerated, and I experienced a spike in my blood pressure...when I heard our able second Gentleman of the land, saying that, the next government of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) will scrap the guarantor System for a Student loan.

Ama Edumade, my Fante friend will say, "na yei no )fire he..." Wherefrom this mouth-watering promise with no value...?

A clear case of breeding more cattle to graze on tiled floors...how will they survive, if I may ask?

From all indicators, it seems our vice President was not briefed on the current situation of the Student loan Trust Fund(SLTF).

A fund with a foundation of straw, battling with an unknown disease at the ICU.

Currently, SLTF is facing a lot of challenges as a disbursement is a concern. If my memory serves me right, there are about 25,000 beneficiaries who have not received their money since March 2020.

With this crisis, the scheme needs immediate liquidity support not another set of promises.

SLTF Is finding it difficult to satisfy its numerous claims it receives annually. It has been the expectation of many of us to receive our fund in the stipulated time as discussed with the scheme...but it's quite unfortunate that it takes them more than three (3) months to even pay one-third (1/3) of its total beneficiaries.

The over-Milked cow is no more producing milk, how can it feed the rest of the cattle...? This current regime has failed to replenish its energy.

The main sources of funding of SLTF are Get fund, communication service tax, and debt repayment. The Ministry of Finance and Getfund have consistently not given funds to SLTF to pay its beneficiaries. Debt recovery rate is nothing to write home about...with the above, how can one think of stressing the already stressed Scheme....? The thinking went bad or just mere populism.

This pronouncement should come from the likes of Comic Ali because he doesn't appreciate science and data. This is just music with no defined beat to the ears.

I want to believe that our able Vice president and his team will come out with a clear cut plan prior to its implementation, because even those with guarantors are finding it difficult to access the fund how much more those without. This needs a second look, because of the current situation of the scheme.

Truth be told, the current state of SLTF can't even accommodate more than 100,000 Students...

The drip needed, is liquidity support drip not otherwise.

Enough of the gambling, Student loan beneficiaries deserve better. Our education matters!!