President of the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS), Isaac Jay Hyde, says promise by President Akufo-Addo to abolish the guarantor system in the acquisition of student loans will enable beneficiaries of the Free SHS to attain tertiary education with so much ease.
Dr Bawumia, speaking at the NPP’s manifesto launch on Saturday, August 22, 2020, revealed that the government will afford tertiary students the opportunity to obtain a student loan with the use of the national ID card only.
“If you look at Ghana, our gross tertiary is less than 17 percent. So if we are to catch and build the human capital which will help us transform the economy, then we have to get more enrollment into the tertiary sectors. One of the problems for students in getting enrollment and access is affordability. Whether it is enrollment into the public or private universities, the ability to get the money is also a high bottleneck because when these Senior High Students graduate, many of them will look to go for tertiary education and we have to facilitate their ability to do so.”
“So we have a major promise; a policy initiative which we say all tertiary students except teacher and trainees who will be on the allowance will be able to get the option to obtain a student loan without the requirement of the guarantor. The problem for many tertiary students is the current scheme asks for guarantors and a lot of people are not willing to put their pensions on the line so many are not able to access the student loan. So you don't need a guarantor and all you need is your national ID card. That's all and you will be accessing your loan and once you complete your education, repayment will be deferred after your tertiary education. You will get a one year grace period after your national service, then you start paying,” he promised.
Mr. Hyde, in an interview with Citi News, said the intervention, if implemented, will help needy students at the tertiary level.
“Free SHS is expected to have been more beneficial to people who are from less-privileged homes and ordinarily would not have gone to school but for the intervention of the policy. Now the next stop I expect the government to be focused on is how do we make sure these people get to go to the universities, and if they are going, what are the likely challenges? Accessibility and finances; and that is what I believe this intervention is here to cure.”
“The loan is there but many students may not be able to access it because they may not have the guarantors so if you help them with guarantors that means that you are most importantly ensuring they go to school.”