The Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia says the Akufo-Addo government’s decision to introduce a new, no-guarantor student loan scheme is aimed at aiding young people, especially the less privileged, to seek tertiary education.
Speaking on Peace FM’s Kokrokooo during an exclusive interview on Tuesday, Dr. Bawumia said, following the highly successful implementation of the Free SHS policy, the Akufo-Addo government is seeking to further improve its vision to educate young people, if Ghanaians give the government another mandate, hence the decision to implement the friendly loan scheme to alleviate the suffering of both parents and students.
“With the successful implementation of Free SHS, about 1.2m of our children are in the senior secondary schools and when they finish, they will like to go to the universities but the cost of going to the university is always problematic, especially to the poor,” Dr. Bawumia said on the program hosted by Kwame Sefa Kayi.
“If the government introduced free SHS to alleviate the suffering of parents, how then do we expect these parents to be able to fund the tertiary education of their children? That is why we are introducing a new policy which gives SHS students who want to advance to the tertiary level, and all tertiary students the opportunity to access student loan without a guarantor,” he added.
The Vice President said the current student loan scheme, which requires applicants to produce guarantors, has not been effective, and many have thus dropped out of tertairy education due to their inability to pay for fees.
“The current system system which requires guarantors before student loans can be accessed is depriving many from acquiring tertiary education because people who have to guarantee for loans don’t want to play with their pensions (which is used as collateral).”
“With this policy, once you have a National ID card, which will be transformed into TIN and SSNIT numbers, anybody who wants to access tertiary education can apply for a loan without a guarantor.”
Dr. Bawumia explained that the policy will also make repayment of the loans soft after national service.
“When you take the loan and you complete school, you will a two year grace period start paying gradually. The two year grace period is one year of national service, and another one year, hopefully after you start working. After this two year grace period, government will start deducting the loan grdually over a period of time,” Dr. Bawumia explained.
“Once you have the national ID card, you are already captured in the system so when government gives you a loan for school fees, you can pay back gradually over a period of time.”
The new policy in the governing NPP’s 2020 Manifesto has been hailed as a masterstroke, which will help address the expected large quest for tertiary education following the successful implementation of the government’s popular Free SHS programme.