UPDATE: Gov't allocates $300 million to help tertiary students hit by hardships
The Government has allocated a total of $300 million to help financially challenged Jamaican students at the University of the West Indies, the University of Technology and the Caribbean Maritime Institute.
In a statement this afternoon, the Education Minister Ruel Reid said the UWI was informed about the allocation last week at its grants committee meeting at it's Cave Hill campus in Barbados.
Reid later told The Gleaner that the money is earmarked to be provided to the institutions come September 2017.
But he said the Ministry is prepared to help students, like some at the UWI, who are currently facing financial hardships to meet their tuition obligations.
However, Reid said he is still awaiting certain information from the Guild of Students at the UWI as well as the university administration.
"I want to find out what is the problem why the financial arrangement has broken down," he said.
Final year students at the UWI, Mona have been uneasy since the warning they would be barred from sitting final exams, if they did not clear outstanding arrears by yesterday's deadline.
Reid said Permanent Secretary Dean-Roy Bernard had been asked to arrange a meeting with the leadership of the UWI to find a solution to this matter.
According to the minister, an assessment of the needs of current students will be done to determine what assistance can be provided through the Jamaica Values and Attitudes Project for Tertiary Students (JamVat) and the Students’ Loan Bureau.
But he said any assistance will require community service and the bonding of beneficiaries.