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Disadvantaged Student Loan facility must not be disrespected

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Tue Aug 19, 2014

Editor: I read with interest an open letter in your publication dated Friday, August 16, instant by one “Disadvantaged,” by deduction, a student recipient of the Disadvantaged Student Loan facility.{{more}}

The contention of the writer regards a meeting with officials of the Ministry of Education, amongst other issues, the financial status and grades were of greater concern.

They concluded acknowledging the debt, emphasized they are not a kid, and they are a responsible person.

What the writer failed to recognize and acknowledge is accountability.

I wish to commend the Ministry for their position, and encourage them not to give up their stand. Further, I recommend that they write all financial institutions, advising that they adopt a similar stand.

This writer was privileged to be certified as a residential underwriter and worked at a financial institution as head of Credit. It was my currency to lecture all prospective students who applied for financing.

I had clients who did not do well in their first year. Upon their request for further draw down, I would give a good tongue lashing and make them warrant an undertaking to improve

their grades, reminding that the facility is on demand (read your mortgage document).

All of my clients improved their grades and are now proud graduates working at Caricom, Central Bank, government service, entrepreneurs etc. They all have shown their gratitude in appropriate ways.

It is a drain on our country when we waste our limited resources. More so, with limited opportunities; it is the students with good grades who have the bargaining power to secure good jobs soonest after graduation, which would give them the opportunity to repay the revolving fund, so others may similarly benefit.

Conversely, a low level degree may leave you idle for months, starve the fund, and cripple the system.

All beneficiaries of the scheme are not only responsible, but accountable to God, themselves, their families, the lending institutions and the people of SVG who secured the loans. Until students endorse this understanding, they are rote learners exposed to much learning. And, that is not education.

Collin D Cambridge

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