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Opinions of Friday, 9 October 2015

Columnist: Alhaji Alhasan Abdulai

Zakat fund & Students Loans Trust Fund to support needy students

The Student Loan Trust Fund which was formed in 2005 to provide loans to eligible students to further their studies had an improvement on its profile when it launched its collaboration with the Zakat and Sadaqa Foundation.

In connection with this move the zakat fund which was set up by Muslim members of parliament and some prominent Muslims would serve as guarantors to Muslims and northern students who would gain admission to Ghana’s tertiary institutions.

The zakat fund would join 15 Christian institutions which guarantee students under the SLTF and one Islamic organization Sheikh Usman Nuhu Sharubutu Education Trust Fund SUNSETFUND which has already guaranteed for close to 1,000 students now in our tertiary institutions.

Amon the benefits derived in the scheme include the peace of mind to concentrate on their studies; the students are not required to repay the loans before they graduate and they are required to repay at heavily subsided interest rates in two years after graduation.

Mr. Samuel Okudjeto Ablakwa Deputy Minister of Education in Charge Of Tertiary Education who launched the partnership commended the zakat fund for coming together to work for the benefit of education in Ghana.

He expressed his happiness that unlike other nations in Africa where some miscreants are disturbing the peace of people through bomb blasts Ghanaian religious organizations are collaborating with government to promote education.

The involvement of Muslim organizations whose findings are derived from parents and Islamic organizations abroad like Christians dates back many years in fact since colonial days.

However, it has become difficult for many parents and students to foot the education bills of their children and wards without external support.

To this end the student’s loans fund is happy to work with religious bodies to offer guarantees to students hence the partnership the organization entered into with the zakat trust fund.

Sheikh Armiyawo Shaibu, the Executive Secretary of the zakat fund who lauded the collaboration with the SLTF said his outfit has designed a process for admitting and guaranteeing students to benefit from the scheme. He added that the zakat fund is capable of getting all beneficiaries of the student loans to pay back the loans.

He therefore, gave the assurance that they would live up to their vow of getting all loans granted the students to pay back the loans

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