The National Union of Ghana Students has threatened to embark on a hunger strike over government’s delay with the disbursement of student loans funds for the 2018/2019 academic year.
According to the student union, all beneficiaries of the student loan aside embarking on the hunger strike will march to the office of the Finance Ministry, Education Ministry and the Students Loan Trust Fund office if government refuses to release the funds immediately.
The President of NUGS, Tinkaro Asare Osei in a statement signed and copied to GhanaWeb questioned why government has delayed in the payment of the loan especially when it promised an educationally friendly environment for students prior to the 2016 elections and upon assumption in office.
Lamenting on how bad the situation is, NUGS executives said “these irate students depend on the funds for their survival in school and delay in disbursement deals a big blow to them".
"The Union has also stated that it will be forced to declare a hunger strike among all beneficiaries of the loan and also to march all beneficiaries of the loan to the office of the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Education and the Students' Loan Trust Fund in the coming days if all avenues to ensure the immediate release of the funds prove futile”, they added.
Read the full statement below
NUGS PETITIONS GOVERNMENT OVER DELAY IN THE RELEASE OF STUDENT LOAN TRUST FUND
The Executives of the National Union of Ghana Students has petitioned the Government through the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Education and the Students' Loan Trust Fund Secretariat. The petition seeks to call for the immediate release of the students loan funds. This action is in response to the agitation of students over delay in the disbursement of the funds. These irate students depend on the funds for their survival in school and a delay in disbursement deals a big blow to them.
The Executives in the petition stated that their outfit cannot understand why there should be a delay in the payment of the loan especially when the government is aware of how important this loan is to students at the tertiary level and is taken aback since the government pledged an educationally friendly environment for Ghana students.
The Union has also stated that it will be forced to declare a hunger strike among all beneficiaries of the loan and also to march all beneficiaries of the loan to the office of the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Education and the Students' Loan Trust Fund in the coming days if all avenues to ensure the immediate release of the funds prove futile.
The Union is therefore calling on all students to come together to support this cause.
Below is the petition signed by the President of the National Union of Ghana Students, Mr. Tinkaro Asare Osei to the Government of Ghana.
April 5, 2019
Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning
Box M 40
RE: DELAY IN THE RELEASE OF FUNDS APPORTIONED TO STUDENT LOAN TRUST FUND.
The students loan scheme has over the years supported many students at the tertiary level. Recently the delays in the payment of funds is negatively affecting the academic lives of many students, an ordeal the National Union of Ghana Students finds unacceptable. The Union on 22nd February, 2019 in partnership with the Students Loan Trust Fund organized a forum to discuss the recent challenges the Trust Fund is faced with and we realized that the funding for the Student loan Trust Fund has still not been released
by the Ministry of Finance. It is becoming increasingly clear that the sole intent of the Trust Fund is significantly diminishing and gradually causing the beneficiaries a major challenge in their academic life.
We are therefore calling on the Ministry to release the fund to enable the Trust Fund to execute their responsibilities. The reality is that most students have abandoned their programs and some are still home waiting for their funds to be able to return to their lecture rooms. Unfortunately, the Union had to plead on behalf of some students before being allowed to write their end of semester exams. We call on Government through the Ministry of Finance to intervene. With the budget allocations for the year 2019, we believe this is the year to address funding shortfalls and correct all glaring inequalities faced by the Student Loan Trust Fund . We are calling on you to release the funds.
We demand that you take keen interest in approving all budgets alloted for education in the country.
We call on Government to come to the aid of students on issues affecting quality education.
Ministry of Education
Students Loan Trust Fund
Parliamentary Select Committee on Education
National Executive Officers
National Executive Council
Kobby Otchere Marfo
Press and Information Secretary, NUGS
Tinkaro Asare Osei