Categorized | National News

Gov’t to Sue Over Education Loans

The Ministry of Education is taking legal action against Bahamian students  who have failed to pay off their education loans.

The government was depending on reviving the Education Loan Authority this year, but it is likely that will  not  happen because of the current outstanding loans.

According to Education Minister Jeffrey Lloyd, approximately $100 million has yet to be collected.

He said, “ in 2016 the government gave an incentive that was to run for twelve months. It was designed to  address the delinquency  and rewards  to those borrowers who were paying. This was grace period to which no interests would be applied to the loans. 

“During this twelve-month period, borrowers who wished  to pay off their loans in full would settle their loans by repaying the principle only and all interest and related charges would be forgiven. To date,  498 out of some 5,000 have paid off their loans through the incentive program.

“However sad to say, the authorities had to initiate action against stubbornly delinquent borrowers who have refused every effort at an amicable solution, ” said Mr. Lloyd.

The remaining 4,502 persons who have not paid their loans,  have  caused  thousands of the country’s students to miss out on  opportunities  to get financial assistance.  

The minister  said  that there are hundreds of students  who  graduate every year,  who do not have the financial means to continue their tertiary education pursuits. 

Many of these students are turned away because the ministry does not have sufficient funds in the scholarship division. 

The ministry receives some 5,000 applicants every year for scholarships,  but are only able to give out 561 scholarships.

The minister also expressed his concern over those persons who open schools and are unfortunately unqualified to do so, saying that they are a danger to society. 

“I have visited some of these places and there is unspeakable disgrace and nastiness. It is our responsibility to see that something is done about that and we are more than happy to assist them in becoming qualified, the minister said.     

Written by Jones Bahamas

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