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UWI students’ problem not fault of Government

UWI students’ problem not fault of Government

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Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves has indicated that problems encountered by Vincentian students at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Cave Hill, were not the fault of his government.{{more}}

At his press conference on Monday, October 18, the Prime Minister said that efforts are being made to settle outstanding monies to UWI.

Dr. Gonsalves acknowledged that there may have been instances where students have been affected at the campus in Barbados, but noted that they were not because of non payment of economic costs by his administration.

“You may find a student who had a problem… but that problem did not arise from the Ministry of Finance.”

“The issue here is that the preliminary year of a programme… we don’t pay the economic cost for the preliminary year. We pay for your direct entry because you can do your ‘A’ levels here.”

The Prime Minister admitted that there was a sum of money still owed to the school, but not the $13 million that he had heard about.

“I’ve been advised by the Ministry of Finance that the outstanding monies owed to the University of the West Indies by the government is some $9 million.”

The Prime Minister indicated that the government currently pays six million dollars to the institution annually, and that it will be taking care of the unresolved fees as they proceed.

“What we have done is that we have made sure that we have an arrangement of payments so that not one single one of our students is affected adversely.”

He said that the government had been keeping up to date with payments until economic pressures in region affected not only this country, but also other territories.

Meanwhile, a release issued by the Vincentian Students Association at Cave Hill, stated that media reports of students being locked out of classrooms or being unable to attend classes due to the non payment of fees by the St. Vincent and the Grenadines government are ‘a misrepresentation of facts’.

The statement, signed by association president Kezron Walters, said that due to work being done on Information and technology services on campus, students were unable to access the e-learning facility on the campus’ website.

The statement went on to say that: “There was another issue as Vincentian students and others found their accounts being disabled. The reason given for this phenomenon was the nonpayment of fees. As a result of this, students were unable to access computers and copiers on campus…. This event was short lived as the situation was rectified speedily.”

Walters’ statement said that there were few Vincentians on campus who report that their economic costs have not been paid, and that the association does not think it a cause for ‘national alarm’.

“The Vincentian Students Association is, however, conducting investigations into the issue and will seek to amicably resolve the situation, whatever it may be.”(JJ)

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