Students Fume at Delay in Loan Release
Two months into the reopening of most tertiary institutions in the country, managers of the Student Loan Trust Fund (SLTF) are yet to disburse funds to students under the trust.
Expressing disappointment over the delay, many students have called on government to do something about the situation as a matter of urgency.
The PRO of the Ghana National Union of Technical Students (GNUTS), Michael Nyameteasi, who made the disclosure, said contrary to the contractual agreement made with the trust, students have not received their loans since September.
“It’s really affecting us badly because as a student you have these serene environment and sound mind to study if only you’ve footed your bills…in our tertiary institutions, you pay your bills and you’d be counted as a student.
“The semester would be ending next month and before it does, we would have to write our examinations, if you haven’t footed in your bills or registered your course, you can’t write the examination,” he lamented on Accra-based TV3.
But management of the SLTF say they empathise with the plight of the students adding that they are doing all they can to resolve the issue.
Responding to the claims, a representative of SLTF, Mr. George Ferguson Laing, said the problem was due to an increment in enrolment onto the Fund.
“We increased the loan by 60% and that ended up attracting a lot more students than we normally take in, and this has put some sort of strain on the fund,” he explained.
He could, however, not be certain on when the SLTF would resolve the challenges and disburse the funds.
According to him, but for efforts made by the institutions to reclaim old loans, the situation would have been worse.
“Repayment has increased considerably so we are able to get funding from former borrowers to disburse,” Mr. Laing said.
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.
As a social intervention package by government, students are entitled to take the loan for a maximum of six years in their education life-cycle; and a two-year grace period after completion. It has a repayment period of between 2 and 10 years, depending on the number of years one enjoys the loan.
By: Grace Ablewor Sogbey/ firstname.lastname@example.org