Parliament approves loan guarantees for student education, urges students to pay back

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Parliament approves loan guarantees for student education, urges students to pay back

Parliament on Tuesday, April 2, 2013 authorised the government of Saint Lucia to guarantee loans for 23 students studying at various universities at a cost of $3.25 million.

The student loans were accessed through the Saint Lucia Development Bank and the Bank of Saint Lucia for studies at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Midwestern State University, and the Johnson and Whales University.

Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Dr.  Kenny D Anthony, told Parliament that student-loans-financing in Saint Lucia is in crisis and the Cabinet has appointed a special committee to review the current system for ‘Government Student Loan  Guarantees’  to ensure future sustainability.

“The matter of financing education for students is a matter that every one of us has an interest in, all of us have a sympathy,  sensitivity, an understanding because we appreciate the value of education, but the reality is can the state continue to bare a cost that is rising at a phenomenal rate because our students turn their backs? How far therefore can we go?  Can we find a point at which all of us can agree where these loans are concerned? Do we continue with the current policies? These are the questions, and we need to begin to think about that when the report of the special committee is presented to this honourable House,” the prime minister said.

Minister for Education, Human Resource Development and Labour, Dr.  Robert Lewis, assured the Parliament there is a system in place for the selection of students and approval for government loan guarantees. He said the system is in keeping with government’s policy on transparency.

“First of all, for someone to get even a scholarship or loan guarantee, the student’s course of study must meet the government’s priority list area for education.  The student has to be accepted by the university of study, the student has to be vetted by the various government department, which is the Ministry of Education. Besides all this, the student must meet the bank’s own requirement, so even if the Ministry of Education would have approved the student, the bank itself has its own criteria to ensure the student meets the requirement,” Dr. Lewis explained.

During the debate on the resolution for guarantees,  Deputy Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre zeroed in on the issue of delinquency and on non-repayment of loans by some students. He urged students to be responsible and fulfill their obligations as part of the agreement.

“This is a guarantee. It is a contingent liability to the debt of Saint Lucia, so if every student pays back their loans, taxpayers will have no money to pay. So we must preach responsibility and encourage our students to understand that even though they have succeeded,  other people would also like to benefit from the facility, and we need to repay the money so we can guarantee loans for them. So I want to support the minister for finance and also applaud him for bringing this resolution to the public so we can have a discussion and talk about it,” Pierre said.

The Student Loans Guarantee further emphasises the government of Saint Lucia’s commitment to the education of the nation.

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10 COMMENTS

  1. am a student who got a loan,and cant get a job up to now,we were given orientation and after the government said they don't have money to pay,what am saying if they want us to pay the loan which i would really love to pay,why no money to pay,they only want us to work with out pay,am not going to do that for no one,when i have needs as well,when u go to the bank the lines long and 2 or 3 bank tellers there, that's one example.if loan must pay,jobs must be given.

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    • you are not the first to hustle for a job and you won't be last. no one owes you a job, the sooner you realize that the better. don't be discouraged and keep trying. there's nothing wrong with volunteering, I did it till I was hired full time because of the commitment I showed.

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  2. You'll know this is the truth. Government help people by giving them scholarships/assistance and when you hear the shout . . . they bail. You'll remember ANNA CH...Y? She got sports scholarship and she never gave St. Lucia a second thought!

    This is not attacking her personally, it is just an example of how people who are given chances screw it up for others.

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  3. Every child should have the opportunity to obtain a student loan. It's a good step but not enough. Education is the way out of poverty.

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  4. Me having to back student loan for someone else's child whilst I cannot afford to send my child to university. This welfare state BS has to stop.

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    • yea John, this welfare state has to stop so that everyone could grow up to be as densely daffed as you... Once there is an open selection process where those who merit get in and not just because your family knows people then i am all for it. there should also be a strong caveat which ensures that scholarship are not given to these careers which don't produce anything

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    • Good point who are these students and how did they select them, most of the time when the public here about it the students are already selected using a system of who know who. A lot of studends from the Grambelling state University return home and walking the streets day in and day out and cant get a job because it's all about who know who so how the hell are the going to repay there loans .

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  5. Maybe they should publish the names of students who aren't repaying their loans (the at least the ones who have jobs)

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