LPM expresses concern over slow pace of tertiary education in St. Lucia

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LPM expresses concern over slow pace of tertiary education in St. Lucia
LPM leader Theo Prudent
LPM leader Therold Prudent

The Lucian People’s Movement (LPM) has expressed grave concern about the slow pace of tertiary education in Saint Lucia, including the high cost for the average local family that would like to send their children abroad to study.

Reacting to the government’s decision to guarantee EC$3.25 million in loans for 23 students to study in the United States, the leader of the LPM, Therold Prudent, said that students can receive comparable and more affordable education for their dollar by considering other tertiary markets in order to fulfill their dreams of earning a respectable degree.

“If the aim is to accelerate the pace of tertiary education in Saint Lucia and to transform our island from a developing country to a modern, industrial economy, then the government must lead the way via a more efficient and well-coordinated effort that seeks to explain to the populace its vision for transforming our nation through affordable education,” Prudent said.

“Encouraging our students to study in countries where the exchange rate is low, but the quality and value of their education systems rivals those of the traditional education markets (which we have often depended upon but have proven very costly to our nation) can pay great dividends to Saint Lucia’s economic future,” he continued.

South Africa has an expanding education market that the government of Saint Lucia may want to explore, he pointed out.

Prudent said that not only are there a number of accredited, world-class universities in South Africa, but the cost of educating Saint Lucian students there could amount to a considerable saving compared to educating them in England, Canada or the United States.

He highlighted the universities of Stellenbosch, Cape Town, Pretoria, Rhodes, Witwatersrand and even the University of South Africa, among many others, all of which have sound academic histories dating as far back as 1829.

“These institutions may well hold the key to our dreams of educating thousands of our young people in their specific areas of interest, which potential investors often require and, thereby, producing the kind of human capital that is required to drive economic growth on the island,” Prudent said.

Prudent believes that there is no reason why a country the size of Saint Lucia, with a population of fewer than 175,000 people, cannot become the first of its kind within the Caribbean region to adopt an out-of-the-box approach that seeks to educate its young people en masse at a significantly lower cost.

The LPM leader also claimed that he is very troubled about the plight of young people who return to the island after studying and are without any prospect of landing a job.

He said that, whereas the economic downturn in the international market may have contributed further to a higher level of unemployment on the island, a lot of the blame should fall on the shoulders of successive governments, including the current administration of Dr Kenny Anthony, for not having a serious or practical plan to address Saint Lucia’s educational needs and unemployment problems in a holistic manner.

He said that, given the hardships that many returning students are currently facing, it may be an opportune moment for Anthony to sit down with the various lending institutions in the country and work out an agreement that will allow eligible students to participate in an income-based repayment (IBR) program.

Such a program would, for a specific period of time, cap student loan repayments at 15% of the students’ monthly discretionary income and, thereby, allow them sufficient time to either find or create higher paying forms of employment and make the adjustment to living and working on the island again.

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18 COMMENTS

  1. David, the US department of education student loans is only forgiven after 120 payments for employees of the state or federal government under a special repayment like the income base repayment plan. There are many individuals in the US who are underemployed after taking loans to study just like St Lucians. This is why the department of Education has a repayment plan that is solely based on these individuals income. Maybe St Lucia needs to adopt the same policy, encouraging students to return and serve the country in any capacity needed.

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  2. Therold is a very intelligent man and has the eloquence to match his inttelligence.However it takes more than releasing these well thought of and well reseached staement from and office in Brooklyn or one of these Boroughs of NY to really create any srious change in our beautiful Island.So he needs to come to my world to face the harsh realities before he starts to express his comical eloquent statements.Check the air fare to South Africa, this is only one aspect.

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    • I just hate to read papishow

      ****he needs to come to my world to face the harsh realities before he starts to express his comical eloquent statements***

      What a load of crap!!! You talk of Therold as if he does not understand St Lucia. What is so difficult for anyone who have made St Lucia a priority all his life to understand. I have known Therold and his family for many years and there isn't thing about St Lucia he does not understand. Let's stop pretending as if we are talking about some alien invision. Some of you people should do your homework before commenting on others.

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  3. Ms Millie I agree that there is a serious problem with job creation not only in St. Lucia but around the world. I understand your frustration of not being able to gain employment , but I just can't make the link with Dr Anthony and Guyana as it relates to the current bleak job market here.Dr Anthony worked for CARICOM as alegal advisor not as a job creator or economic advisor. So do your research and stop sounding like you a primary school drop out.

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  4. I VEHEMENTLY CONCUR WITH MR PRUDENT'S POINT OF VIEW AND WHAT WAS MORE INTERESTING HE HAD ALTERNATIVES EXCEPT FOR EMPLOYMENT. LOOK I COMPLETED MY STUDIES IN OCTOBER AND I CANT FIND A JOB,THE GOVERNMENT NEED TO STOP ALLOWING FOREIGN PERSONS TO COME AND TAKE THE JOBS DOWN THERE OR WHEN SOMEONE RETURNS WHO IS QUALIFIED MAKE THEM FOREIGNERS REDUNDANT. PERSONS ARE GETTING TIRED,HENCE THE REASON WHY LOANS CANT BE PAID AND YOU CANNOT MAKE A GENEROUS CONTRIBUTION TO YOURSELF,FAMILY FAR-LESS SOCIETY. SOON ST LUCIA WILL BELONG TO THE DOGS IF IT HASN'T. KENNY IS DOING THE SAME DAMN THING HE DID IN GUYANA,FAR TOO LONG THIS MAN HAS TAKEN US ON A JOY RIDE AND HE IS A EMBRACING THE FIDELISM WAY OF GOVERNANCE AND IT STINKS. ITS HIS WAY OR THE BY WAY. FIDEL CASTRO THOUGHT HIS DAY WOULD NEVER COME,CHAVEZ LIKEWISE. WELL KENNY YOURS WILL SOON COME AND THAT'S A DAY OF REVIVAL....

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  5. I admire some of your ideas and your ability to think outside the box. Your proposal on other countries with quality university education at a cheaper cost to the UK, US or Canada is a very good one. I also like the proposal; as currently being done in the United States, by allowing returning graduates to pay a certain % of their salary towards their loans. But in Obama's proposal after consistently paying the student loans for 10 or 15 years the debt is forgiven.

    My only concern is the status of the LPM as a viable Opposition. I think strong consideration must be made towards merging with a more mainstream Opposition and bring all of your ideas together then present yourselves to the electorate. But the idea of the LPM members coming down for elections closer to the end of the 5 years is unrealistic! The LPM just doesn't have the machinery to carry them through a General Election. Sad to say; but its the Truth.

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    • And those articles are also printed in newspapers all over the Caribbean. I don't know what they're trying to prove, but it's sad because they're losing any credibility that they once had, which is very minimal.

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    • I quite agree! LPM you need to put yourself together now rather than later otherwise you will set yourself to fail! I admire your ideologies but you need to present it as a prospective political organization. Make the move now; King has failed and so has Kenny so you stand a very good chance!

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  6. Well said MR. PRUDENT what i admire about you the most is that you not one of those politicians who just come out and talk about problems without offering a viable alternative.
    One another unintended consequence of a place like south Africa is more student would elect to return home rather than staying abroad and not repaying their student loans.

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  7. Keep it up LPM. It's time to think out the box in finding cheaper education for St. Lucia's youth

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  8. It is always easy to making suggestions, but tend to forget its practicality. How much does it matter as to where one gains an education when the reality of the issue is that there still aren't any jobs to come back to. We need a solution not only cost wise but one that will cover if not all loop holes but most so that our small island can move forward and the ignorant minds of ours can better develop.

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  9. I think that is a great idea..even students who are not funded by the government could look inot the universities as an alternative to the high cost of education in the us and Europe.

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  10. Therold Prudent is selfish man who thinks the USA is only for him and other lucians should not be educated there, if you so concern about St.Lucia why are you still in the USA and open your mouth every time the Government tries to do something, what about St.Lucia are you afraid of ? that you only come for a weekend or funeral and return, and it's people like you that want to lead St.Lucia

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    • Tell it to him again John. I have a problem with this man. With all his great ideas, he will never win a seat in St. Lucia farless to form a Government. This man all he does is brag and brag. I thought this man was of substance, but he isn't. He is just an old disgruntled man.

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      • Danna What you really mean to say is that you have a problem with him because he is a very intelligent person who is annoying the heck out of the SLP? Is that what you are afraid of? I don't know why you labourites don't keep your trap close when they have nothing important to say. What Prudent and LPM said makes perfect sense.

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        • I quite agree with you! King didn't do anything and Kenny is turning everything upside down! So whats the option? LPM!

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