The government has announced a 50 per cent increase in the loans accessed by students enrolled on the Student Loan Trust Fund programme.
The move is in line with the pledge made in the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) Election 2016 manifesto.
On page 112 of the NPP manifesto, the party posited that “we will also abolish the payment of utility bills by students. We will also increase the amount of loans under the Student Loan Scheme and restructure to streamline its administration to enhance recovery of the loans.”
A statement signed by the Head of Public Relations at the Ministry, Vincent Assafuah, confirming the increase said that an amount of GHȼ38,441,088 had been disbursed as full payment to the National Commission for Tertiary Education.
The commission, he said, would also forward the payment to the Principals’ Conference in respect of the colleges of Education feeding, of which the Students Loan Trust Fund is part.
“The NPP will place emphasis on the continuous linkage of academia with industry and the world of work to ensure curriculum relevance, thereby reducing graduate unemployment,” it added.
The Executive Director of the Fund, Nana Agyei Yeboah in a follow-up interview said the government committed to ensuring that hindrances to quality education were alienated.
“Hitherto, the minimum amount given to beneficiaries was GHȼ 1,000 and it was capped at GHȼ2,000 which was directly linked to course specifications, technical requirements and needs assessment.
The government, he added, had subsequently increased the minimum amount to GHȼ1,500 and maximum GHȼ3000.”