The government, through the Ministry of Education, has increased the financial allocation of students enrolled on the Student Loan Trust Fund programme by fifty per cent.
This is in fulfilment of the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) manifesto promise in the run up to the 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections.
The then opposition NPP, on page 112 of its manifesto, stated: “We will also abolish the payment of utility bills by students. We will also increase the amount of loans under the Student Loan Scheme, and restructure it to streamline its administration to enhance recovery of the loans.”
“The NPP will place emphasis on the continuous linkage of academia with industry and the world of work to ensure curriculum relevance, thereby reducing graduate unemployment,” it added.
A statement signed by the Head of Public Relations at the Ministry, Vincent Asafuah, confirming the increase, indicated that an amount of GH¢38,441,088 has been disbursed as full payment to the National Commission for Tertiary Education, for onward payment to the Principals Conference in respect of the colleges of education feeding, of which the Students Loan Trust Fund is part.
Speaking to the Executive Director of the Fund, Nana Agyei Yeboah said the government was committed to ensuring that hindrances to quality education are alienated.
“Hitherto, the minimum amount given to beneficiaries was GH¢1,000 and it was capped at GH¢2,000, which was directly linked to course specifications, technical requirements and needs assessment. Government has subsequently increased the minimum amount to GH¢1,500 and maximum GH¢3,000,” he said.