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04.06.2004 General News

Students petition over SSNIT loans

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Sunyani (B/A), June 4, GNA - The Sunyani Polytechnic chapter of the Ghana Accountancy Technician (GAT) Students has petitioned the government to verify from the Ghana Education Service if they were not qualified to benefit from the SSNIT Loans Scheme.

The petition also asked the government to verify if they were not qualified to undertake national service, a programme it said "helps students to exhibit the knowledge they have acquired to prepare them for the job market."

Mr. Nimbiliri Derry Machanibi, Vice-President of the chapter who read the petition at a press conference in Sunyani on Thursday expressed regret that the SSNIT had withdrawn the student loan facility, which students pursuing the Accountancy Technician Programme had enjoyed for the past 10 years.

He said the National Accreditation Board claimed that GAT was not qualified as a tertiary course and that the Institute of Accountancy (ICA), Ghana, did not seek accreditation before running the programme at the polytechnics.

Mr. Nimbiliri said the Board further explained that the entry requirement of for GAT programme was lower than that required for admission to tertiary programmes and could therefore not support GAT students to benefit from the loan scheme.

He said when contacted by representatives of the students, the SSNIT explained that it was mandated to administer the students loan scheme, governed by Provisional National Defence Council Law (PNDCL) 276, to give loans to students of public tertiary institutions, adding that its enquiries at NAB revealed the non-tertiary status of GAT and therefore suspended the loan to its students.

The chapter Vice-President described the exclusion of GAT students from the National Service Programme as "very painful and disgraceful" and appealed to the Government to come to their aid.