Over 13,000 Guyanese are expected to receive $11 billion in student loan relief, as the government announced plans to commence phase one of the loan write-off programme for University of Guyana students.

This is in keeping with its manifesto promise of providing free tertiary education to Guyanese by 2025.

Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr Ashni Singh, made the announcement during a live broadcast on Monday.

To be eligible, persons must have graduated in relation to the programme funded by the Government of Guyana’s Student Loan Agency.

Subsequent to graduation, persons must have been employed or self-employed in Guyana for at least three years, as evidenced by a minimum of 156 contribution made to the National Insurance Scheme (NIS).

Minister Singh recalled that after 2015, the previous APNU+AFC Government had proposed the introduction of travel bonds intended to bar students with outstanding loans from traveling.

“This rendered fear in scores of students across the country. This hostile approach by the APNU+ AFC Administration is yet another example of the colossal non-caring nature of the APNU+ AFC and is in striking contrast to the people centred approach of the People’s Progressive Party,” the minister pointed out.

It is important to note that the government committed to paving a path to free university education through a phased approach this year.

Already, this plan is in motion, and according to Dr Singh, it aligns with President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali’s One Guyana vision.

“[This] vision seeks to create a society where all Guyanese irrespective of where they live, their ethnic or religious background, their political affiliation or gender or other orientation, have the opportunity to lead productive and happy lives. It aims to achieve this by reducing inequality and access to education, health and other social services, employment and income and security and justice,” the  minister asserted.

The government will release additional information on how persons can access phase one of the programme in the coming days. (Extracted from the Department of Public Information)


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