Sun | Jan 24, 2021

Morgan suggests student loan forgiveness for essential services workers

Published:Saturday | February 8, 2020 | 12:16 AMNickoy Wilson/Gleaner Writer

A government senator is suggesting that borrowers from the Students’ Loan Bureau, who have completed their respective courses of study and choose to join the essential services, be incentivised to combat brain drain affecting the country.

This suggestion was made yesterday by Senator Robert Morgan as he made his contribution to the State of the Nation debate in the Senate.

“Mr President, I am suggesting today that we give an incentive to certain critical industries in Jamaica where, for example, if you join the police force and spend five years, your student loan will be forgiven.

“I know that we would have to work out the relevant legal framework and bonding, and how it would work, but I think Mr President if you give young people an incentive and show them that you believe in them, they will show that they believe in the country,” said Morgan, who is also parliamentary secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister.

Morgan also called for the establishment of a bipartisan commission on the funding of tertiary education to come up with solutions for this perennial problem.

Also contributing to the debate yesterday was Opposition Senator Sophia Frazer-Binns who called for the enforcement of the building regulations by government authorities.

“Mr President, I use my presentation to ask the Government to consider the establishment, if it has not already done so, of a multiagency bipartisan group to oversee the continued assessment of existing buildings to ensure that they are disaster ready.

“I further ask the minister of local government and the municipal corporations to leave no stones unturned in enforcing the Building Act. If we fail to do this, the result is going to be too much for our country,” said the opposition senator.

Senators K.D. Knight and Matthew Samuda also made contributions, bringing to a close the debate, which began last year.