Students’ Guild reports ‘productive’ talks with PM
The President of the Students Guild at the University of the West Indies Cave Hill campus says he is pleased with the outcome of a meeting yesterday with top Government officials.
Damani Parris described the near five hour long, closed door meeting with Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and Minister of Education Ronald Jones at Government Headquarters, Bay Street as “productive”.
Parris said that after months of calling for an audience with these officials to discuss the policy of students having to pay tuition fees as of September, he was happy that practical solutions were identified.
Though unable to go into details, he said two of the items discussed were the structure of the Student Revolving Loan Fund and students having difficulties accessing loans from financial institutions as a result of a lack of sureties and high interest rates.
“At this point we cannot share the majority of the details of the meeting but what we will indicate is that we found the meeting very productive and it was a comfort to the representatives of the student body to hear some of the things reflected by the authorities yesterday.
“We are hopeful that coming out of this meeting going forward that we will have much more productive meetings as promised by the Minister of Education. I must indicate that I am very pleased coming out of this meeting,” Parris stressed.
The Guild President however made it clear that students would still have to pay tuition fees in September. However, he said provisions were being made to ease at least some of the financial burden on their shoulders.
On that note, he said Jones recent announcement that the Ministry of Education was giving out 3000 bursaries to students was a step in the right direction.
Later this week, the Guild is also scheduled to meet with Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler where the main item on the agenda will be overly harsh student loan packages on offer by some leading commercial banks.