President of the Ghana Union of Professional Students (GUPS), Mr Justice Aboagye-Sarpong has expressed disappointment with former students who have refused to settle their indebtedness to the Students Loan Trust Fund (SLTF).
He called on the CEO of the SLTF and government to consider prosecuting such defaulters.
“Ghanaians should take note that Students loan is not a charity organisation. It is a constitutionally mandated institution with the objective to provide financial resources for sound management of the Trust for the benefit of students and to help facilitate the national ideals enshrined in article 28 and 38 of the 1992 constitution.”
“It is therefore incumbent on any responsible Ghanaian to refund any amount given out by the secretariat for the money to recycle. Unfortunately, people take loans and refuse to pay back. This is one of the reasons that account for the secretariat’s lack of financial resource to meet the request of all students. In view of this, we call on the government to start prosecuting people who have refused to pay their debt in order to get enough funds to support the educational needs of students to get the peace of mind to study.”
He also complained about the delay in releasing funds to current students in need of such support.
According to him, students using the fund to support their education become traumatised due to pressure from their institutions to pay fees and the delay in the release of the fund from the Students Loan secretariat.
The president of GUPS also said they are in contact with goverment and assured students who are yet to receive cash from the SLTF to remain calm as “we take steps to resolve the issue to avoid recurrence coming semester.”
“We are reliably informed that the Secretariat has released 80% of the fund. We will help the secretariat in any capacity we can to retrieve all monies released to former students who are adamant to repay causing the artificial problems for current students. We are also pleading with all former students who have accessed the Trust Fund since 2005 to offset their debt as responsible citizens.”
He commended President Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo and the CEO of Students Loan Trust Fund, Nana Agyei Yeboah for the decision to increase the fund by 50% and making it accessible to all students with commitment.
In 2016, the minimum amount was increased from Ghc 650-Ghc 1000 in an academic year.
The amount was increased in 2017 from a minimum of Ghc 2000 to Ghc 3000.
“We plead with the government to push more funds into SLTF because future leaders need this support to finance their education so we can achieve inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning.”