Reports reaching THE PUBLISHER indicate that some of the students that subscribed under the Student Loan Trust Fund (SLTF) have been prevented from writing their end of semester examinations for failure to pay their fees.
Barely a month into the close of the first semester in most tertiary institutions in the country, managers of the SLTF are yet to disburse funds to students under the Trust.
Expressing disappointment over the delay, many student unions, including the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS), have called on government to do something about the situation or face their wrath.
Addressing the media yesterday, NUGS described the situation as a blatant disregard and insensitivity to the plight of the poor Ghanaian student whose only source of hope is the loan.
According to the union, the harshness of the situation has exacted a heavy toll on students both financially and academically.
“If we were a nation with priorities, should we deny students the merest support they need to study and yet keep pontificating about the need for education to be taken seriously?” General Secretary for the union, Koku Abotsi, inquired
He said the inability of government to meet its financial obligation is not peculiar to students living in Ghana—their counterparts studying abroad are reported to suffer an even more frustrating fate.
“Universities and other centres of learning abroad have written to Ghanaians to either meet their financial obligations or be shown the door. This is not only disgraceful but also unacceptable”, Mr. Abotsi said.
NUGS has, therefore, appealed to government to at least write an undertaking to the school which would in turn grant the students access to the examination halls.
“The merit of the issue is this, we are not much particular about the money, if you can’t give them the money, you are government and you can assure the institutions that these are the challenges, so, give us some time and we will pay and don’t harass the students,” the NUGs PRO, Obenge Darko Walker noted.
The Union also called on government to speed up the release of allowances meant for trainee teachers and nurses.
“Since President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo restored the nurses and teacher training allowances as a way of fulfilling his campaign promise, the government has not been consistent with the payment,” the NUGs general secretary said.
He continued: “We call on government to put in place adequate financial preparations to avoid the boring unnecessary delays.
The SLTF was instituted by government to provide timely financial services to eligible Ghanaian tertiary students.
It is estimated that about 380,000 students, from 119 private and public tertiary institutions have benefited from the Fund.
By: Grace Ablewor Sogbey/ firstname.lastname@example.org