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20.01.2020 Opinion

The Students Loan Trust Fund Scheme Has Lost Its Relevance, Momentum

By Azuraa Bukari Ayuba
The Students Loan Trust Fund Scheme Has Lost Its Relevance, Momentum
LISTEN JAN 20, 2020

The Student Loan Trust Fund (SLTF) project as established under the trustees incorporation Act 1962, Act 106, aimed at helping the nation to pursue her dream of providing financial resources for the benefit of students as demanded by Article 25 and 38 of the 1992 constitution, appears to be losing its focus and vision.

It is crystal clear that, the establishment and implementation of the Student Loan Trust Fun (SLTF) scheme over the years, has gone a long way to play a pivotal role in liberating students from the financial hardships they encounter in their various academic endeavors.

It is an indisputable fact that, so many students have been basking in the mercies and favor of the initiative over the years. For many are those who have successfully completed their various courses in their respective tertiary institutions through the support given to them by the SLTF policy. It has therefore remained an epitome and embodiment of success and joy in the academic lives of many students across the country.

Notwithstanding, The government, Education Ministry, Finance Ministry plus the SLTF secretariat have woefully failed us in recent years. What has Changed?.

As stipulated clearly in the constitution, the SLTF as a public institution is expected to serve its purpose satisfactorily to ensure that, the nation’s goal of providing quality education to all citizens through the provision of financial resources is achieved. On this note, every government should at all times ensure that, funds are allocated for disbursement to support eligible tertiary students across the country.

Truth be told, the government of Ghana has lost the degree of focus and attention needed to keep the Student Loan Trust Fund policy in motion.

For the sake of my stand on this issue, we want to state emphatically that, the government's attention to this important policy is minimal.

Now, the failure of the government to provide funds for timely disbursement is an empirical evidence to our claim.(Government’s attention to the policy is minimal)

In setting the records straight, for two consecutive years, the SLTF has failed to serve its purpose on time. For instance, students who were patiently waiting for their loan in September for the 2018/19 academic year were left devastated, disappointed and flabbergasted after the government heartlessly refused to release funds in the expected month. They had to wait till the last month of the year.

Also, the government is still as quiet as a church mouse bout the 2019/2020 disbursement. As a result of this, a good number of students have deferred their courses while others are burning in financial quandaries. Our parents are at home singing hymns of joy thinking that we are well catered for by the government.

A lot of supplications have been made to the government by we the students. However, our voices are still not heard. At this juncture, the main question running through our minds is that, “Has the government changed the structure of the SLTF scheme?”. For we have not had any formal information coming from either the government or the Student Loan Trust Fund Secretariat.

We are therefore writing to register our displeasure and disgust over the government’s failure to do the right thing at the right time.

The government should by all means help the nation to realize her dream of providing quality education for all citizens as far as the constitution is concerned. The government should also at all times allocate the needed funds for disbursement to help eligible but needy tertiary students as far as the constitution is concerned.

We are also calling on the government to consider our wishes without any hesitation as far as the constitution is concerned.

On this note, if Government and SLTF fail further to pay us by 31st January, 2020, we are going to embark on a dirty demonstration. Enough is enough.

Antwi Samuel Bosnia
President Tertiary Education Institutions Network (TEIN)

Seidu Ziblim Abu
DASA General Secretary

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