The Chief Executive Officer for Student Loan Trust Fund (SLTF), Nana Kwaku Agyei Yeboah, has welcomed manifesto promises by the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the largest opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to abolish guarantorship for student loans.
He has described the move by the parties as brave and laudable which would go a long way of allowing many tertiary students to access the loan.
In an interview on Yensempa on Onua FM on Monday, September 14, Mr Agyei Yeboah revealed that the guarantorship over the years has been a hindrance to applicants and he would on any day opt for its abolishment.
He noted that out of 326, 571 students who were admitted into tertiary institutions in 2017-2018 academic year only 31,980 applied and successfully acquired the student loan, representing 9.8%.
Similarly, in the 2018-2019 academic year, out of 347,170 students admitted into tertiary institutions, only 30,870, representing 9 per cent applied and successfully acquired the loan.
He, however, ascribed the low number of applicants to difficulties students go through in getting a guarantor, who is also a Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) contributor.
Meanwhile, he reiterated, not every student, especially those from the rural areas, would have a relative who is a SSNIT contributor to guarantee for him or her in accessing the loan.
The CEO thus revealed that before the NPP and NDC manifesto launches, the SLTF board had already had consultations with religious leaders, traditional rulers and other stakeholders to voluntarily guarantee for applicants to make accessibility easier for students.
He told the host, Anokyewaba Adwoa Serwaa, that every student is entitled to the loan since it was established to provide financial support for the youth in accessing education at the tertiary level.
He was quick to add that the loan is not for free and, therefore, cautioned beneficiaries to repay on time after school to avoid high interest rates.
He reiterated government’s commitment to the Student Loan Trust hence the move in increasing it by 50 oer cent, making it possible for students to annually apply from 1,500 to 3,000 maximum, depending on the need assessment of every applicant.
By Maxwell Otoo|Onua FM|3news.com|Ghana