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12.04.2004 General News

New students' loan scheme to be intrduced

By GNA

Accra, April 12, GNA - A new students' loan trust is to be introduced soon to relieve students of the financial burden, which hinder their academic work.

A sensitisation forum has been held on the new scheme for students of the University of Ghana, Legon.

Speaking at the forum, the Minister of Tertiary Education, Ms. Elizabeth Ohene assured the students that the policy, when introduced, would be more sustainable and beneficial to them.

She said the current SSNIT loan scheme was on the verge of bankruptcy and that it had become necessary to find a more workable measure to cushion students in the pursuit of their courses.

The consultant to the Trust, Mr Kwame Pianim who was the guest speaker explained that the new trust had been designed to be dependable and reflective of the courses pursued by the beneficiaries. It would also be sustainable and market-oriented so as to provide students with the required springboard for effective academic work. Among other things, the loan would be easy to access, since it would not require people, other than the applicants to serve as guarantors.

Mr. Pianim added that the new scheme would be more sustainable because repayment of the loan would not be difficult. The President of the National Union of Ghanaian Students (NUGS), Mr Ken Abotsi lauded the loan trust and commended the consultants for their high sense of innovation and commitment. He also asked for consideration to be given to the cost involved in the various courses and offer the required assistance. This, according to him, would lessen the financial burden on students whose courses entail huge costs.

The NUGS President also pointed out that the 12.5 percent interest on the proposed scheme was rather on the high side. He therefore, suggested that it should be lowered. Other dignitaries who addressed the gathering included the Registrar of the University, Mr. Ted Konu and the Deputy Director General of the SSNIT, Mr. Ras Boateng as well as the Acting SRC President Carllota Agyemang.

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