Dennis Appiah Larbi-Ampofo, President of the National Union of Ghana Students, has urged the government to guarantee that the Students Loan Trust Fund (SLTF) is fully resourced so that it can pay student loans to recipients on time.
On Wednesday, he spoke at the KNUST to announce the SLTF’s “No Guarantor” policy.
He claims that delays in loan delivery to students cause tremendous hardships for recipients, negatively impacting their academic achievement.
Mr Larbi-Ampofo urged the Ministry of Education and Finance to ensure that GeTFund releases funding to the SLTF in a speedy manner.
“On behalf of Ghana’s ten million students, I would want to express my gratitude to the government for enacting this historic initiative,” he stated.
He also encouraged the government to consider increasing the loan amount, claiming that the current ceiling of 3,000 dollars per academic year is insufficient for many students.
He admits that the elimination of the guarantor requirement for student loans is a tremendous relief for many students.
He did say, though, that if cash were distributed to students before the start of the academic year, the approach would be better received.
Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, the Minister of Education, entrusted the SLTF with disbursing the loans as soon as students get admitted to tertiary institutions.
The SLTF now provides loans to students who have been accepted and registered at a recognized postsecondary institution.
According to the Minister, many qualified students are denied access to postsecondary education because they must pay a major percentage of their fees before being registered by their institutions.
“I am hereby authorizing the SLTF to release the loans at the time of admission, in which case the first loan amount will be paid to the educational institution directly.” He stated his case.
Currently, the SLTF provides loans to students enrolled at 112 authorized tertiary institutions.